ADJUDICATION OFFICER DECISION
Adjudication Reference: ADJ-00014462
An online marketing company
Complaint/Dispute Reference No.
Date of Receipt
Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under Section 8 of the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977
Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under section 13 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969
Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under section 77 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998
Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under Section 18 of the Parental Leave Act 1998
Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under Section 14 of the Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act, 2003
Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under Section 16 of the Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act, 2001
Date of Adjudication Hearing: 07/08/2018
Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: David Mullis
In accordance with Section 41 of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 and Section 8 of the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 - 2015 and Section 77 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998 and Section 18 of the Parental Leave Act, 1998 and Section 14 of the Protection of Employees(fixed-term Work) Act, 2003 and Section 16 of the Protection of Employees(part-time work) Act 2001 Section 13 of the Industrial Relations Acts 1969]following the referral of the complaints to me by the Director General, I inquired into the complaints and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the complaints.
The above complaints were referred by the Complainant to the WRC on the 1st April 2018. This was in circumstances where the Complainant had resigned from the Respondent company in June 2017, now claiming that he was dismissed by way of constructive dismissal.
The Respondent, at the outset of the Hearing raised a preliminary jurisdiction issue, asserting that the case taken was outside the time allowed – 6 months.
The Complainant asked that the time limit be extended because of issues, personal to him, that had arisen within the original timeframe that prevented him from lodging his complaint within the time limit.
Summary of Complainant’s Case:
The Complainant says that he commenced working, on the basis of a 20 hour week, for the Respondent, on the 15th March 2016 and that he resigned his position in June 2017 on the basis of intolerable behaviour by his manager. He details this in his submission, saying that initially he had progressed very well in his position and was popular with his colleagues and had advanced within his role to the point of being promoted to a coaching role for existing and new employees.
He announced this promotion to his colleagues and by email, in the course of his shift, to his manager. He says that though this was at approximately 1.30am, his manager appeared at his workplace at 3.00am and privately asked him how it felt to be losing his job and having no job to go to. He says he was shocked by this and was at a loss as to where this attitude was coming from.
His recent promotion meant that he would have to undertake a three-week training programme and he went to this.
On his return he says that he discovered that his manager’s attituded towards him had not changed for the good. He says that she was constantly closely observing him and butting in to the coaching sessions he was having with other employees. He says that he made a formal complaint about this and says that the treatment was personal to him in that the manager had personal arrangements with other employees at his level, which he says were based on nationality and religious belief, which were different to his.
He took his complaints to senior management, who he says investigated his complaints but said they found no basis for these complaints. He says he was then put on a full- hours contract, which he says the Respondent advised him, was in accordance with the flexibility required by his contract of employment.
He refused this transfer to the new department at first, but then moved to the new role, reporting to another employee. He says that the same hostile attitude to him continued and that he had the same close supervision from his manager.
In response to his complaints, he says that the managers he had had meetings with about these complaints said they had no previous knowledge of them. He says that the situation became so bad for him that he felt he had no option but to resign from the company. He did resign in June 2017.
He said that during the entire situation, that instead of being heard he was threatened and disciplined. The discipline was not in accordance wit the terms of his contract. He says that he believes that he was being penalised for having raised the issues he did.
Summary of Respondent’s Case:
The Respondent raised the issue of jurisdiction on the basis that the complaint was lodged, as they put it, well outside the time limits provided in the legislation.
They had previously formally objected to the complaint under the Section 13 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 being heard.
They were very insistent, given the length of time, beyond the legal limit, that the complaint was lodged, that I did not have jurisdiction in the case and that to allow for such an extension of the time limit would not fair to them and not in accordance with the legislation.
They asked that I decide on this issue before they would respond to the Complaints.
Findings and Conclusions:
Notwithstanding the serious complaints lodged the Complainant was required under the legislation invoked to submit his complaints within a 6-month period.
I enquired into the responses from the Complainant in relation to the jurisdiction issue and came to the following conclusions:
(a) Mid-June 2017 the Complainant resigned his position, claiming constructive dismissal.
(b) Mid-August, he says that a serious personal issue occurred, resulting in him sustaining injuries.
There were 2 months, post leaving, when, I believe he could have lodged his complaints.
There were a further 4 months after his difficulties where he could have lodged his complaints and remained within the statutory time limit.
(c) Mid- December 2017 was the end of the 6-month deadline.
(d) 1st April 2018, the complaints were lodged.
I am satisfied that the Complainant had adequate opportunity to process his complaints within the 6-month time frame and that extending this would not be appropriate.
Section 41 of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 requires that I make a decision in relation to the complaint in accordance with the relevant redress provisions under Schedule 6 of that Act.
Section 8 of the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 – 2015 requires that I make a decision in relation to the unfair dismissal claim consisting of a grant of redress in accordance with section 7 of the 1977 Act.
Section 9 of the Protection of Employees (Employers’ Insolvency) Acts, 1984 – 2012 requires that I make a decision in relation to the complaint in accordance with the relevant redress provisions under section 9 of that Act.
Part VII of the Pensions Acts, 1990 – 2015 requires that I make a decision in relation to the complaint in accordance with the relevant redress provisions under that Part.
Section 79 of the Employment Equality Acts, 1998 – 2015 requires that I make a decision in relation to the complaint in accordance with the relevant redress provisions under section 82 of the Act.
Section 25 of the Equal Status Acts, 2000 – 2015 requires that I make a decision in relation to the complaint in accordance with the relevant redress provisions under section 27 of that Act.
Section 13 of the Industrial Relations Acts, 1969 requires that I make a recommendation in relation to the dispute.]
I find that the complaints fail on the basis that they were not lodged within the timeframe allowed.
Dated: 25th February 2020
Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: David Mullis