Case Number: ADJ-00000564. Workplace Relations Commission.

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Docket NumberADJ-00000564
Date01 March 2016
PartiesA Worker v Meat Company
Procedure:

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 was dismissed by the Respondent for gross misconduct and breach of trust between employer and employee. He was employed for 6 and a half years, was promoted through the ranks and had no issue in his employment until July 2015. He was disciplined for a miscalculation of mortalities in a fattening plant and was demoted. In September 2015 he was told he had to attend a meeting and was not given the reason. At the meeting the following day, he was asked if he had been clocked in by another employee on some occasions. He was honest and admitted it happened on a couple of occasions when he was in a rush. He felt he had not defrauded the company as he had on occasions come back in the evening to ensure things were ok in the plant, outside working hours. The total number of occasions of clocking were 5 and only one was more than an hour. The issue of the previous warning in September 2015 was held against him and the Complainant was dismissed on 23rd September 2015. He appealed the decision but the decision to dismiss was upheld. It is submitted that the Respondent acted in an unreasonable manner in the first disciplinary situation and in breach of all fair procedures and natural justice by not informing the Complainant that the meeting was disciplinary, by not giving him written invitation to attend and informing him that he was entitled to representation and by not informing him he had the right to appeal. On the second occasion, there was even more disregard for procedures when he was invited to a disciplinary meeting over the phone, he was not informed that it was disciplinary and the manager refused to discuss what the meeting was about. It is submitted that if there was an investigation into the matter of the clocking then it was carried out without the knowledge of the complainant and this can be concluded as a process of entrapment. Employment Appeals case law was submitted in support of the Complainant’s argument that the employer acted unreasonably in dismissing the Complainant.

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