Case Number: ADJ-00004380. Workplace Relations Commission

Court:Workplace Relations Commission
Docket Number:ADJ-00004380
Parties:Accounts Administrator V A University
Procedure:

In accordance with Section 41 of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 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).

 

Background:
The Complainant is employed as an Accounts Administrator with the Respondent. On June 28th 2016 the Complainant lodged the following complaint with the WRC under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 “ I would like to make a complaint under the protected disclosures act 2014 in relation to a disclosure I made to my employer in December 2014 in relation to the endangerment of my Health and safety. I was suspended in June 2015 in relation to that disclosure and I feel there has been a miscarriage of justice in that process”.

The WRC scheduled Hearings on the following dates for the complaint to be heard.

9th November 2016

1st February 2017

13th March 2017 and

26th April 2017.

In the first three instances the Complainant successfully applied in advance of the Hearings to the WRC Office for an adjournment. The Complainant was notified of the April 26th 2017 Hearing on March 22nd 2017. She applied to the WRC office for an adjournment for that Hearing on April 24th 2017 on the basis she had a medical certificate covering the period from April 24th 2017 to May 3rd 2017. This request was refused by the WRC on the basis it was not exceptional circumstances or substantial reasons and on the basis of fair procedure to both parties.

On the day of the Hearing the Complainant, who was assisted by a Relative, sought an adjournment at the commencement of the Hearing on the basis “her Doctors certificate says she is unfit to attend the Hearing.” The Complainant was asked by the Adjudicator to present the Doctors Certificate to the Adjudicator and she presented a Doctors Certificate, which was undated, which stated she was unit for work from April 24th 2017 to May 3rd 2017 due to a Chest Infection. The Respondent then questioned the legality of the Proceedings continuing as they submitted the claim was out of time under the Act and that the Adjudicator had no legal powers to either proceed with the case or adjourn the Hearing.

Decision:

Section 41 of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 requires that I make a decision in relation to the complaint(s)/dispute(s) in accordance with the relevant redress provisions under Schedule 6 of that Act.

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