Case Number: ADJ-00000182. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Docket NumberADJ-00000182
Date23 February 2016
PartiesAn Agency Worker v A Recruitment Agency

In accordance with Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 and Section 8(1B) of the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977, following the referral of the complaint to me by the Director General, I inquired into the complaint and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the complaint..

Complainant’s Submission and Presentation:

The complainant had been assigned by the respondent, a recruitment and employment agency to work with a client company based at Dublin Airport as a check in agent. Her hourly rate was €10.40.

Her shift pattern involved four late shifts, followed by two days off, then four early shifts, with two days off. The early shifts began at 03.00.

She says that she advised her supervisor that she was seven weeks pregnant.

She developed bad morning sickness in the early hours so struggled to get up and go to work. She submitted medical certificates and was put on illness benefit for pregnancy related illness. She informed her immediate work colleagues and also the recruitment agency.

She then asked the recruitment agency whether she could do fewer early shifts and replace these with more late shifts as she could manage this.

On October 12th 2015 her employer sent her an email stating that it was terminating her employment because she could not meet the requirements of the client’s shift pattern.

In her direct evidence she confirmed the narrative set out above and added that she was invited to attend a disciplinary hearing to answer complaints that she was making mistakes at the check in and also in relation to her high level of absenteeism.

This did not proceed because of her absence on certified sick leave.

The complainant said she posted medical certificates to the company’s registered business address on July 5th, August 26th and September 9th all of which stated that she was suffering from a pregnancy related illness.

Respondent’s Submission and Presentation:

The respondent complained that it had not been given the opportunity to resolve matters at mediation as it felt that there had been misunderstandings and some breakdown in communication which it could have addressed there.

GD, a director of the respondent company gave evidence that that the letter which the complainant saw as terminating her employment did not in fact do so. Its intention, in recognition of the problem with the early shift was to end the assignment to that particular client only. It claimed that it was not intended...

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