SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
A STATE BODY
(REPRESENTED BY FIELDFISHER SOLICITORS
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Geraghty
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr McCarthy
1. Unfair Dismissal.
2. The case concerns a claim of unfair dismissal.
The Employer said that
On the 15 May 2019, the Worker referred the dispute to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's Recommendation.
A Labour Court hearing took place on the 17 July 2019.
3. 1. Prior to the termination of his employment, he was not provided with the details of the performance issues that formed the basis of the Performance Improvement Plan.
2. The Worker was not given a copy of the disciplinary process or offered the right to be represented at any point during the process.
3. The Worker was not given the right to appeal the decision to dismiss him.
4. 1. A formal Performance Improvement Process was commenced on 4 February 2019 which lasted six weeks.
2. The Employer met with the Worker on eight occasions over an eight-week period until the termination of his employment.
3. The Worker was at all times afforded the benefit of fair procedures.
The Employer believes in this case that they operated fairly, that the Worker was dismissed for underperformance while on probation and only following a rigorous process that was set up to assess performance and to facilitate an improvement.
However, as this Court has pointed out previously, if a Worker is on probation and/or does not have the service necessary to be covered by the Unfair Dismissals Acts, the Employer is still required to afford proper procedures to the Worker, prior to taking a decision to dismiss.
In this case, the Worker was not advised clearly by the Employer, independently of the Performance Improvement Process, that he was facing dismissal, he was not advised of his right to representation at the meeting at which his dismissal was to be considered and he was not afforded a right of appeal of that decision. The Worker was, as a result, impeded in his ability to make his case for retention.
The Court is of the view that these shortcomings warrant compensation to be paid to the Worker. In assessing the level of compensation to be recommended, the Court notes that the Employer made a payment of three weeks’ pay on top of a week’s notice payment and also offered a sum of money to be available to assist the Worker’s future employment opportunities, although this offer was not taken up by the Worker.
In all the circumstances, the Court believes that a further sum of €2500 should be paid by the Employer to the Worker in recognition of the procedural shortcomings and in full and final settlement of his claim.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
01 August, 2019Deputy Chairman
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran Roche, Court Secretary.