Case Number: ADJ-00004641. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Judgment Date01 June 2018
Docket NumberADJ-00004641
PartiesA Driver v A Warehousing and Distribution Company

ADJUDICATION OFFICER DECISIONS Adjudication Reference: ADJ-00004641 Parties:



Anonymised Parties

A Driver

A Warehousing and Distribution Company


Richard Grogan & Associates

Management Support Services (Ireland) Ltd



Complaint Reference No.

Date of Receipt

Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under Section 8 of the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977


15 August 2016

Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under section 27 of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997


15 August 2016

Date of Adjudication Hearing: 20 July 2017

Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer : Kevin Baneham


On the 15th August 2016, the complainant referred complaints to the Workplace Relations Commission pursuant to the Unfair Dismissals Act and the Organisation of Working Time Act. The complaints were scheduled for adjudication on the 20th July 2017. The complainant attended the adjudication and was represented by Richard Grogan Solicitors. The respondent company was represented by John Barry, Management Support Services. Four witnesses attended for the respondent.

In accordance with section 8 of the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 – 2015 and section 41 of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015, following the referral of the complaints to me by the Director General, I inquired into the complaints and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the complaints.


The complainant asserts that he was unfairly dismissed and the respondent denies the claim.

Summary of Respondent’s Case:

The respondent outlined that it was a warehousing and distribution company that provided haulage service to clients. This work takes place on organised runs and it is necessary to adapt the work to respond to clients’ requests. The respondent outlines that there had been two external investigations following allegations of bullying made by the complainant against a director and other employees. The first investigation concluded that there had been four instances of inappropriate behaviour by the company director over six years. The investigator recommended mediation to facilitate the complainant’s return from a period of sick leave. The complainant returned to work on the 18th February 2016.

The respondent outlines that issues arose regarding the complainant completing deliveries. It describes that the complainant rigidly sought to finish work by 5pm, even though the mediation agreement allowed for flexibility. The respondent raises the complainant’s “disparaging” comments regarding the company director. It states that the complainant was aggressive to other staff members. The complainant commenced attending work with a personal camera recording his interactions with members of staff. The respondent raised data protection issues of this and in conversation with his manager, the complainant aggressively told the line manager to “p*ss off” and that the line manager was a bully. This was followed by a physical interaction where the complainant grabbed the line manager’s arm. The line manager complained of this incident and this was dealt with under the disciplinary procedure. A company director carried out the disciplinary investigation, leading to the letter explaining the complainant’s dismissal of the 18th May 2016.

The respondent submits that while the period between February and April 2016 was a short one, it was necessary to look at the historical context of the complainant’s interactions with the respondent and the company director. It raises the complainant’s behaviour in this time, where he accused “nearly everyone” of bullying him. He did not complete deliveries. He was abusive to colleagues and managers and attended work with a personal recording device. The respondent asserts that it was entitled to terminate the complainant’s employment in the following terms “on considering all the above facts management took the decision to terminate your contract of employment based on the seriousness of the totality of events and that your unreasonable behaviour has completely undermined the employer/employee relationship making a continuation of your employment untenable.”

The respondent offered the complainant an external appeal, which he availed of. This concluded on the 7th November 2016. While it determined that the procedure leading to his dismissal was deficient on a number of grounds, it held that the complainant was wholly responsible for the incidents that led to his dismissal. It upheld the decision to dismiss as fair.

The respondent submitted that section 17 of the Organisation of Working...

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