SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
GALWAY TURKEYS LIMITED T/A CORRIB FOOD PRODUCTS
- AND -
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr Hall
1. Appeal of Adjudication Officer Recommendation No. ADJ-00006442.
2. This matter was referred to an Adjudication Officer for investigation and Recommendation. On 27 August 2018 the Adjudication Officer issued the following Recommendation:-
- “I recommend that the parties engage directly having regard to the contract which governs their obligations and interest as it relates to the workplace with a view to arriving at an understanding of how all sides should behave in the future”.
The Worker appealed the Adjudication Officer’s Recommendation to the Labour Court on 3 October 2018 in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969.
A Labour Court hearing took place on 15 November 20187.
This is an appeal by a worker against an Adjudication Officer’s Recommendation. The Claimant’s claim before the Workplace Relations Commission alleged dissatisfaction with his employer’s handling of a bullying complaint made against his Supervisor. He complained about the lack of specific details from the Employer as to his hours of work, lack of reasonable notification of overtime requirements and the fact that he had been issued with a written warning on 23rdAugust 2017 for refusing to work on his own in the coldroom. The Claimant has been absent due to stress since August 2017.
The Adjudication Officer held that the type of relationship which appeared to exist between the Supervisor and the Claimant should not be permitted to continue and accordingly recommended that the parties should engage directly with each other to restore a normal working relationship. He held that it was unreasonable of the Employer to provide the results of the bullying complaint in an email to the Claimant and it was unreasonable of the Claimant to refuse to do overtime. The Adjudication Officer suggested mediation, however, the Claimant could not agree to the nominated Mediator.
It is regrettable that the Employer did not attend the hearing before the Court nor was it represented at the hearing to put forward its side of the case. The Court notes that the written warning issued to the Claimant in August 2017 has since expired and recommends that it should be expunged from his personnel file. The Court also notes that the Claimant has other cases in process at the moment in several third party fora.
The Court is of the view that there are issues on both sides which need to be resolved in an efficient and expeditious manner so that both parties can resume normal working relations.
Therefore the Court recommends that an independent person (nominated by the Court) should in consultation and with the full co-operation of both parties engage in a facilitation/mediation intervention to resolve matters going forward.
On receipt of confirmation of acceptance of this Recommendation by both parties the Court will make the above-mentioned nomination.
The Court so Recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
27 November 2018Deputy Chairman
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Louise Shally, Court Secretary.