Case Number: ADJ-00000062. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Docket NumberADJ-00000062
Date26 April 2016
PartiesAn Employee -v- An Employer

Adjudication Decision Reference: ADJ-00000062

Complaint(s)/Dispute(s) for Resolution:


Complaint/Dispute Reference No.

Date of Receipt

Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under Section 8 of the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977



Date of Adjudication Hearing: 15/01/2016

Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Gerry Rooney


In accordance with Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 [and/or Section 8(1B) of the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977, and/or Section 9 of the Protection of Employees (Employers’ Insolvency) Act, 1984, and/or Section 79 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998, and/or Section 25 of the Equal Status Act, 2000] following the referral of the complaint(s)/dispute(s) to me by the Director General, I inquired into the complaint(s)/dispute(s) and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the complaint(s)/dispute(s).

Complainant’s Submission and Presentation:

The Claimant was summarily and unfairly dismissed on or about 18th May 2015. The Claimant was not afforded fair procedures, in that, the Respondent's disciplinary procedures were not properly implemented in the dismissal of the Claimant. Without prejudice to the foregoing, the Respondent's disciplinary procedures were unfair and inadequate. The Claimant was not afforded fair procedures in her dismissal, or at all, and her dismissal is unfair pursuant to the Unfair Dismissal Acts, 1977 to 2005. Without prejudice to the foregoing, the Claimant reserves the right to adduce in evidence at the hearing of this matter further instances of wrongdoing on the part of the Respondent which led to the Claimant being unfairly dismissed pursuant to the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977 to 2005.

The Claimant was employed as a Harnesser at the Respondent’s Activity Park on a part time/casual basis. She commenced her employment on 17th March 2012.

At the hearing the Claimant contended that she was rostered for duty on the weekend of 1st May 2015 but she was advised not to come in to work due to inclement weather. (This is standard practice as there is less demand for Harnessers during inclement weather).

On 4th May 2015 the Claimant did not attend for work as she was not rostered. She indicated that she had been suffering from a bad back during the previous two weeks and had being receiving attention for that. She had been off work from 18th April 2015 due to back pain.

The Claimant was not subsequently rostered for duty following g the weekend of 1st May 2015, and on 15th May 2015 she was notified by the Respondent, in a Facebook message, that she would be issued with her P45.

The Claimant has alleged this amounts to unfair dismissal as the Respondent failed to follow any procedures in relation to her dismissal.

Respondent’s Submission and Presentation:

The Respondent advised that the Claimant was initially rostered for work over the weekend of the 1st May 2015. However due to inclement weather she was not required to attend. The Claimant had not been rostered for work the two weeks prior to 1st May 2015 as she had been out of work due to back pain.

Following the weekend of 1st May 2015 the Respondent contended it attempted to contact the Claimant to roster her for work again but that she failed to return the attempts by the Respondent to contact her. The Respondent therefore concluded that the Claimant had left her employment and accordingly issued her with her P45 on 15th May 2015.

In coming to this conclusion the Respondent relied on a verbal statement it contended the Claimant made to her manager where the Respondent alleged the Claimant advised the manager that she was handing in her notice as she intended to set up her own fashion business. In his evidence at the hearing her manager advised that the Claimant told him she had obtained a business loan to set up her fashion business. During this conversation her manager shook her hand and he wished her all the best for her future.

Having tried to contact the Claimant subsequently to roster her for work, and having failed to get a response, the Respondent was satisfied that the Claimant had in fact handed her notice to her manager and therefore issued her with her P45 on 15th May 2015.

At the hearing the Respondent also presented the Claimant’s disciplinary record. The Respondent outlined that three strikes on the disciplinary record would lead to a dismissal. The disciplinary record indicated that the Claimant has been noted for two strikes, one on 27th April 2015 as she “didn’t e-mail in any unavailable dates”; and a second strike on 5th May 2015 for “no show for shift, didn’t answer telephone calls”. On 13th May2013 a further entry on the Claimants disciplinary record noted “never replied to any e-mail or phone calls, no reference to be given”.

The Respondent further advised that its normal way of communication with employees was through Facebook Messaging, which is a personal messaging service. It generally contacted staff in this manner. The Respondent also provided evidence which demonstrated this was the manner it had communicated with the Claimant before. The Respondent acknowledged that on 15th May 2015 it advised the Claimant by Facebook Messaging that it was issuing her with a P45.


Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 requires that I make a decision in relation to the complaint(s)/dispute(s) in accordance with the relevant redress provisions under Schedule 6 of that Act.

Section 8(1B) of the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977 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.

Issues for Decision:

The issue for decision is whether the Respondent Unfairly dismissed the Claimant on 15th May 2015 by issuing her with her P45 on that date.

Whilst at the hearing the Respondent contended that the Claimant gave her manager notice by advising she was terminating her employment to set up her own business, the Claimant denied this. In her evidence the Claimant stated that she did not set up a business, and following her dismissal she started a full time course in fashion.

The Respondent had noted a number of strikes on the Claimant’s disciplinary record regarding her absence, and failures to return calls or e-mails from the Respondent regarding availability to be rostered for work. The Respondent contended this was a contributing factor to its decision to dismiss.

Legislation involved and requirements of legislation:

Section 6(1) of the 1977 Act states the dismissal of an employee shall be deemed, for the purposes of this Act, to be an unfair dismissal unless, havingregard to all the circumstances, there were substantial grounds justifying the dismissal.


The matter that the Claimant’s employment was terminated is not in dispute.

Based on the evidence provided the Claimant was employed on a part time casual basis where she would be called in advance to be rostered for work. At times these rosters would be changed at short notice, e.g. on the weekend of 1st May 2015 where her roster was cancelled due to...

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