Case Number: ADJ-00002426. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Docket NumberADJ-00002426
Date26 January 2016
PartiesA Worker v An Employer
ADJUDICATION OFFICER DECISION Adjudication Decision Reference: ADJ-00002426 Complaints/Dispute for Resolution:


Complaint/Dispute Reference No.

Date of Receipt

Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under section 13 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969



Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under Section 28 of the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act, 2005



Date of Adjudication Hearing: 02/11/2016

Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Rosaleen Glackin


In accordance with Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 and Section 13 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and following the referral of the complaint/dispute to me by the Director General, I inquired into the complaint/dispute and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the complaint/dispute.


The Complainant has been employed as a Technical Employee with the Respondent since 18th March 2008. She is employed on a full-time basis.

The Complainant referred a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission on 16th March 2016 alleging she had been penalised by the Respondent under the Health and Safety Act, 2005 arising from a complaint she made in relation to a health and safety issue.

The Complainant also referred a dispute to the WRC on 16th March 2016.

Summary of Complainant’s Position.

Health and Safety Act, 2005

IMPACT Trade Union stated that the Complainant had submitted a formal grievance in relation to a Health and Safety Issue against her Supervisor in August 2013 and alleged that this complaint had not been concluded but that the Complainant had been penalised by the Respondent when she was relocated to a different location in June 2013.

Industrial Relations Act, 1969

The Complainant made a formal grievance on 9th August 2013 in relation to issues arising concerning a site inspection. The Respondent appointed an external investigator to report with its findings in relation to the complaint. There was a delay in issuing the investigators report and IMPACT had a meeting with the Respondent and wrote in December 2014 to the Respondent seeking an update. The Respondent replied on 12th January 2015 giving an update but also stating that there was no requirement on staff to engage. The Respondent sent a letter to the Complainant on 9th March 2015 including a brief report with a cover letter stating there were no firm conclusions and again stating they were not in a position to compel an employee to participate in the investigation. IMPACT responded by letter dated 13th March 2015 expressing their dissatisfaction on behalf of the Complainant.

The matter was unresolved and the matter was referred to a Rights Commissioner who heard the complaint on 13th May 2015 and issued his Recommendation on 29th November 2015 recommending that the investigation be completed prior to Christmas 2015. The matter was not progressed.

The Complainant requested information/report in relation to her Grievance under the Data Protection Legislation on 3rd June 2016 which she was given on 12th August 2016 which she alleged substantiated her Grievance.

Summary of Respondent’s Position.

Health and Safety Act, 2005

The Respondent stated that at no time had they set out to deliberately penalise the Complainant in relation to the issues pertinent to her dispute under the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. Despite the passage of time there appears to be little in the way of reconciliation or a satisfactory resolution. The immediate outcome has now been taken out of the Respondent’s hands due to one of the Parties initiating a formal third party referral against the Respondent in relation to this matter.

Industrial Relations Act, 1969.

The Respondent stated that a grievance was initially raised in November 2012 relating to an incident that had occurred in September 2011 and reported in December 2011 remains unresolved. This complaint was heard in May 2015 following which the Respondent moved to finalise the internal investigation as verbally recommended by the Rights Commissioner.

The Personnel Officer of the Respondent held a number of discussions and meetings with staff members whom he believed could provide the information necessary to facilitate closure of this long-standing issue. The Personnel Officer issued his report in October2015 and the Complainant and her Trade Union Representative had been given advance sight of this report prior to its submission to the Respondent.

However during May and October 2015, one of the parties directly involved in the Complainant’s dispute, initiated a formal third party referral challenging aspects of the Personnel Officers report and this third party referral remains outstanding and is ongoing and therefore is outside the Respondent’s control.


Health and Safety Act, 2005.

Preliminary Issue. Time Limits

This complaint was submitted to the WRC on 16th March 2016 in relation to a grievance that was lodged in November 2012 following which the Complainant alleged she was transferred to a different work location and allege that this is penalisation by the Respondent for making a complaint under the Safety and Health Act, 2005.

Section 41(6) of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 provides that a complaint must be lodged within the period of 6 months of the allegation to which the complaint relates. This complaint was submitted to the WRC ON 16TH March 2016 in relation to alleged penalisation that occurred in 2013.


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