Case Number: ADJ-00000066. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Docket NumberADJ-00000066
Date10 March 2016
PartiesAn Employee -v- An Employer

Adjudication Decision Reference: ADJ-00000066

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


Complaint/Dispute Reference No.

Date of Receipt

Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under the Industrial Relations Acts



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 Complainant was appointed to a six month fixed term contract in the position of Golf Starter/Ranger. He was appointed following an interview with the Director of Golfing. The Complainant’s commencement date was 18th April 2015 where he was required to work on an ad hoc basis.

The Claimant alleged that after working two weekends, where he contended he had provided excellent service including the selling of one membership for the club, he was brought into the office and told without any notice that his contract was being terminated. As he had less than 12 months service he brought his complaint under the Industrial Relations Acts 1969 contending that he was wrongfully and unfairly dismissed.

Respondent’s Submission and Presentation:

The Respondent advised it is a premium hotel and golf club that operates two championship designed golf courses. The Complainant was employed as a Golf Starter/Ranger where his role was to enforce certain rules and implement sanctions within the regulations relating to the game of golf.

However after appointing the Complainant the Director of Golfing became aware that the Complainant had previously been a member of the club, and members of the club knew the Complainant. The Respondent therefore contended that this made the Complainant’s position untenable, particularly as he would be required to enforce regulations. The Respondent argued the Complainant’s previous membership would compromise the Complainant, and under such circumstances neither the Complainant nor the Club would benefit. Accordingly the Respondent felt they had no option but to terminate the Complainant’s contract under the probationary clause in his contract, and dismissed him without notice.

The Respondent advised that point 14 of the Complainant’s contract of employment stated a 13 week probationary period where, in addition to completing an induction programme, the employee’s job performance, attendance, and skills will be evaluated. In addition this clause further states that your manager will carefully evaluate whether your attributes are best suited to your job assignments and whether or not the Hotel and its culture suit your career expectations. Continual assessments will take place throughout this period…The Company may terminate your contract at any stage of the probationary period. Whilst referring to this clause the Respondent acknowledged that it had not issued the Complainant with a copy of his contract at the time of his departure.

Notwithstanding the Respondent contended that it acted within the probationary clause in the contract, and the decision to dismiss was made swiftly to avoid prolonging the circumstances which, as stated, it viewed as being untenable under the circumstances.

In cross examination, the Complainant argued that the...

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