Case Number: ADJ-00000473. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Docket NumberADJ-00000473
Date01 March 2016
PartiesAn Employee -v- An Employer

In accordance with Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 and the Parental Leave Act, 1998 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:

I made a request for 12 weeks parental leave from my employer in August 2015 for the period 06/01/16 to 16/03/16. This request has been refused by my employer on the basis that I am the only full time Veterinary Inspector that the Respondent has in the district and there is no one else available to do my job. I do not accept this as a valid reason to refuse my request within the meaning of the Parental Leave Act, 1998-2006. The failure to grant the Leave in a speedy fashion meant that he Complainant could not effectively made any forward plans in relation to care arrangement for the child in question. The late granting of the leave in December had effectively resulted in the Complainant incurring considerable extra expense in relation to accommodation: being effectively unable to make any plans regarding renting property or making firm accommodation arrangements. The actions of the Department in relation to communications were most undesirable throughout the process.

Respondent’s Submission and Presentation:

The Respondent emphasised that they had made every effort to facilitate the Complainant.

The decision to initially formally refuse the application on Monday 5th October 2015 was due to inflexibility in the People Point system – there was no IT solution to indicate that an Application was effectively a tentative "Yes but on hold" pending the sourcing of a suitable replacement. The Officer concerned was effectively compelled on the system to answer either a straight Yes or No.

They were very short of suitable qualified personnel to fill the Complainant’s position in a facility that required the Staff member to have under gone specialist Audit training to satisfy expert requirements especially to the United States.

Strenuous efforts were made to secure a qualified candidate through the Public Appointments processes. Procedural routines in the People Point system had proved to be slow and inflexible in this case.

Eventually a candidate was secured and the Parental leave as requested was granted on the 31sst December 2015 to commence on the 6th January...

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