Case Number: ADJ-00025490. Workplace Relations Commission

Court:Workplace Relations Commission
Docket Number:ADJ-00025490
Procedure:

In accordance Section 8 of the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 - 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.

Background:

On the 13th November 2019, the Union on behalf of the complainant, a Butcher submitted two mirror image complaints of unfair dismissal to the WRC, some 20 minutes apart. On 29 November 2019, the Union was notified that these complaints were to be blended into ADJ -25490.

The Respondent subsequently raised jurisdictional issues in rebutting the claim. The case was first set for hearing on 1 April 2020 and was re-listed due to the national pandemic for 15 September 2020.

The Respondent lodged two pre-hearing submissions both were copied to the complainant.

The complainant filed a response to the Respondent submission dated 5 September 2020. There was no appearance by or on behalf of the complainant at hearing.

Summary of Respondent’s Case:

The Respondent operates a multi locational meat business and employs 60 staff. The complainant was unemployed on a permanent contract on 6 September 2018 and was dismissed with one weeks’ notice on 30 August 2019. He was paid €11.50 per hour for an average of 43.5-hour week.

As a preliminary argument, the Respondent has challenged that the complainant held the requisite service to run a complaint of unfair dismissal and secondly denied that the dismissal was unfair.

The respondent made a written submission dated 18 December 2019 and clarified that the complainant worked in a different shop to what was mentioned on his complaint form. The facts of the reason attributed to the dismissal were disputed.

On 31 August 2019, the Respondent made a supplementary submission “for the hearing on 15 September 2020”.

On this occasion, the respondent again disputed that the complainant had 12 months continuous service as he commenced work on 6 September 2018, was given notice on 30 August 2019 and finished on 5 September 2019. The facts surrounding dismissal were also contested.

The Respondent attended the hearing on 15 September 2020 and both representatives were aggrieved by the nonappearance of the complainant but agreed to wait a period to allow for an appearance.

Mr A, one of the owners of the company gave evidence that the complainant had worked well for the first 3 months of his employment, but his performance declined after this. He spoke to him on 6 to 7 occasions seeking an improvement, but no sustained improvement followed. He was troubled by the tapering off productivity.

Mr A outlined the workings of the business which operated over 7 days.

During August 2019, he was away on leave and his brother and co-owner, Mr B covered for him. On his return, Mr B recounted that the complainant had refused to cut meat past an early part of a Saturday afternoon despite further trading hours. Mr B told Mr A that he had to undertake the task of cutting himself and was stunned at the...

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