INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
REHAB GROUP TRADING AS REHABCARE
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Ms O'Donnell
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr McCarthy
1. An appeal of an Adjudication Officer's Decision No(s) ADJ-00016566 CA-00021534-001/3
2. The Employee appealed the Decision of the Adjudication Officer to the Labour Court on 21 May 2019. A Labour Court hearing took place on 23 October 2019. The following is the Court's Determination:
This case is an appeal by a Worker of the Decision of an Adjudication Officer. The issue in dispute between the parties is the Worker’s claim that the Employer did not handle his grievance in an appropriate and timely manner. The Worker initially raised an informal grievance and then by email in April 2018 he informed his Employer that he wished to initiate the first stage of the grievance procedure. He then provided additional information setting out the particulars of his grievances as follows, staffing levels, powerful personalities dominating group dynamics and policies being vague and incoherent. It is the Worker’s case that it took seven months to get to stage 2 of the process and that the Employer would not escalate his grievance to stage 3. The Worker told the Court that he got an apology from the Employer at stage 2 for bad procedure by the Area Manager.
The Worker stated that he was looking for justice that the Employer had admitted their guilt that they had not followed procedures and that he wanted compensation. The Worker told the Court that he had resigned from his job which took effect on the 18thAugust 2018 at the end of his notice period because he had lost trust in the Employer and that he was now seeking his job back and to be paid half his wages from August 2018 to the date of the hearing.
The Employer position is that they sought to address the Worker’s grievance in a timely manner. However, the initial email did not identify the specific grievances so further information was sought from him. The Employer made a number of attempts to schedule a meeting to discuss the Workers grievances. A meeting was finally scheduled for the 4thJuly 2018, but this was cancelled by the Worker. The meeting eventually took place on the 6thJuly 2018. At that meeting the Complainant was advised that he would receive an outcome after the 23rdof July 2018 as the person investigating his grievance was taking some annual leave. Unfortunately, the person investigating the grievance suffered a bereavement and did not return to work until the 20thAugust 2018. The outcome of the formal grievance was issued to the Complainant on the 23rdAugust 2018. The Complainant appealed by email of the 3rdSeptember 2018. He provided additional information on the 11thSeptember 2018 and a formal grievance appeal hearing was held on the 10thOctober 2018. The outcome of the appeal was issues to the Complainant on the 20thNovember 2018. The Employer dealt with his grievances and there was no undue delay in processing same.
The Court having read the submissions of the parties and listened carefully to the oral submissions on the day decides that the Employer in the main operated in line with their own procedure. The Court does not accept that any delay that occurred in this case was sufficient to find that the process was detrimental to the Worker and on that basis the Worker’s appeal cannot succeed. The appeal fails. The decision of the Adjudication Officer is upheld.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
19 November 2019Deputy Chairman
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to David Campbell, Court Secretary.