SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
CPL SOLUTIONS LIMITED TRADING AS FLEXSOURCE
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Haugh
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr Hall
1. Compensation for alleged wrongful dismissal
2. On 16 May, 2019 the Worker referred the issue to the Labour Court, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on 19 July, 2019.
The Worker agreed to be bound by the Court’s Recommendation.
Background to the Dispute
The Worker was employed by Cpl Solutions Limited T/A Flexsource (‘the Company’) as a warehouse operative from 28 March 2018 until his employment terminated on or about 11 September 2018.
During the period of his employment, the Worker was assigned by the Company to work on various client sites. On 5 September 2018, he was assigned to a new site. The client on that site requires all warehouse operatives to update their manual handling certificates every two years. The Worker did have a current manual handling certificate when he was assigned in September 2018, however, he was required to refresh it in order to comply with the client’s requirements as he had last completed a manual handling course on 9 September 2016.
The Worker was, therefore, invited to attend a manual handling course on 11 September 2018 in Blanchardstown. It is common case that he arrived late for the training. The Company submits he arrived some thirty minutes late. The Worker told the Court that he was no more than eight to ten minutes late and that the course did not commence exactly at the scheduled time.
There is also disagreement between the parties about what happened after the Worker was refused entry to the training course on 11 September 2018. The Company submits that he was informed he wouldn’t be permitted to return to the particular client site until he had successfully completed a refresher manual handling course but that an alternative course would be arranged in early course. The Company also submits that the Worker was not happy with this proposal, became irate with his supervisor, resigned his employment with immediate effect and demanded his P45. The Worker says that his supervisor refused to sign certain social welfare forms on the Worker’s behalf until the Worker first ‘signed for his P45’. The Worker denies requesting his P45.
The Worker has initiated a number of different proceedings arising from the events of 11 September 2018. He lodged two claims under the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 on 22 January 2019. Both claims were heard together by an Adjudication Officer on 29 March 2019. The Adjudication Officer issued his decision on both claims, bearing reference number ADJ-00019306, on 30 April 2019. He found that the Worker did not have the requisite service to proceed with a claim under the 1977 Act. The Worker, it appears, has also referred two separate claims under the Employment Equality Act 1998. As of the date of the within hearing, those claims had not yet progressed to a hearing before an Adjudication Officer.
The Court finds that the Worker was fully aware of the requirement that he update his manual handling training in order that he be eligible to work on the client site to which he was assigned on 5 September 2018. He was invited to attend a training course for this purpose on 11 September 2018. He arrived late for the course and was refused entry to it as the course is progressive in nature. The Worker was undoubtedly frustrated at this turn of events. However, he was assured by his supervisor that an alternative training day would be provided in early course. This did not satisfy him and he became angry with his supervisor. However, the Court does not accept that he was then dismissed as a consequence. The Court – having regard to the submissions before it - is of the view that the more probable explanation is that as submitted by the company i.e. the Worker submitted his resignation and requested his P45.
Accordingly, the claim fails.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
30 August 2019Deputy Chairman
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to David Campbell, Court Secretary.