Case Number: ADJ-00000356. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Docket NumberADJ-00000356
Date04 July 2014
PartiesA Factory Operative Vs A Food Manufacturer

Procedure:

In accordance with Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015; Section 8(1B) of the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977; Section 79 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998; and Section 11 of the Minimum Notice & Terms of Employment Act, 1973, 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).

Following the hearing the Complainant submitted documents to confirm mitigating circumstances in relation to seeking alternative employment.

Background:

This case refers to a Factory Operative of Latvian nationality with no proficiency in English (the complainant).

She was employed with the respondent 20th April 2005 until 31st of August 2015. She worked in various roles in the organisation and at the time of the termination of employment she had been working in the peeling room for approximately five years.

The Complaint’s pay was €9.15 at the time of her termination of employment.

The complainant has alleged that following a visit to the company doctor on 27th August 2015 she was unfairly dismissed and received a letter of her dismissal from her employer on 31st August 2015.

The Complaint also maintains that she was not provided with sufficient notice in accordance with her entitlements under Minimum Notice & Terms of Employment Act, 1973.

Summary of Complainant’s Case:

CA-00000397-001 Unfair Dismissal

The complaint alleged that she was unfairly dismissed on 31st August 2015 by her employer. She maintained that she was unfit to work due to an illness and that her dismissal occurred shortly following her return from annual leave on 23rd August 2015. The Complainant maintained that after she had visited the Company Doctor on 27th August 2015 she had a meeting with the Respondent and subsequently received a letter from the Respondent on 31st August 2015 terminating her employment.

CA-00000397-002 Discrimination Under Gender, Age , Disability and Race Ground; Complaint of Victimisation, Reasonable Accommodation and Dismissal for Discriminatory reasons.

The Complainant withdrew her complaint under the Employment Equality Act.

CA-00000397-003 Complaint of not receiving Statutory Minimum Notice under the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act, 1973

The Complainant maintained that she received no notice of her dismissal. She contended that she received a letter on 31st August 2015 informing her that her employment had been terminated on 31st August 2015 with immediate effect.

Summary of Respondent’s Case:

CA-00000397-001 Unfair Dismissal

The Respondent denied that the Complainant had been unfairly dismissed.

The Respondent maintained that the Complainant had told her work colleagues and her manager in August 2015, before she departed on annual leave, that she would not be returning to work from her annual leave on 23rd of August 2015.

The Complainant’s direct manager who supervised her work in a peeling room confirmed this had been said to her, although in cross examination the Manager could not remember the exact day this was said. However, the Manager had subsequently reported to her own manager that she had been told the Complainant did not intend to return to work after her leave. The Respondent advised that its HR manager was subsequently told.

The HR manager in his evidence outlined that he would have known the complainant well where he would have celebrated birthday parties and other family events with her over the years. He maintained that when the Complainant returned from her leave she submitted a sick cert for the period 24th August to 31st August 2015. The Respondent submitted that the sick cert from the Complainant’s GP mentioned that she was presenting with Arthropathy and back pain. The HR Manager advised that he happened to meet with the Complainant when she was submitting her sick cert and where the Complainant advised the HR manager in the presence of the Payroll Officer that she would be submitting sick...

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