Case Number: ADJ-00028887. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Docket NumberADJ-00028887
Date13 July 2021
Hearing Date27 January 2021
RespondentA Policing Authority


Adjudication Reference: ADJ-00028887




Anonymised Parties

A Member

A Policing Authority


Michael Hegarty, Reddy Charlton Solicitors

Chief State Solicitor's Office



Complaint/Dispute Reference No.

Date of Receipt

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



Date of Adjudication Hearing: 27/01/2021 and 05/05/2021

Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Una Glazier-Farmer


In accordance with Section 43 of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 andSection 13 of the Industrial Relations Acts 1969following the referral of the dispute to me by the Director General, I inquired into the dispute and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the dispute.

This matter was heard by way of remote hearing pursuant to the Civil Law and Criminal Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020 and SI 359/20206, which designates the WRC as a body empowered to hold remote hearings.


The Employee’s claim related to disciplinary sanctions up to and including dismissal under the Industrial Relations Act 1969 following on an internal investigation.

The dispute was heard over two days, the first on 27 January 2021 and the second day, 5 May 2021, both by way of remote hearing.

The claim was submitted to the WRC on 3 July 2020. The Employee set out his complaints in detail in the WRC Complaint Form. The Employer’s submissions were received on the evening of 26 January 2021. It was requested that the hearing on 27 January 2021 that the Employee would have a further opportunity to respond to the Employer’s submissions within 14 days. His submissions were received on 10 February 2021. The Employer had the same period to respond and despite this its reply was not received until 1 March 2021.

Further information was sought from the Employer at the second hearing to be submitted by 12 May 2021. Despite agreeing to this deadline at the hearing the Employer failed comply with it and did not furnish a response until 19.49pm on 14 May 2021. On the basis this was two days after the agreed time line and the second time Employer has failed to adhere to the time frame set for filing responses, in addition to the last-minute filing of submission on 26 January 2021, I am not accepting this letter. Consequently, it does not form part of this Recommendation.

The following is a summary only of the claim.

Summary of Complainant’s Case:

Preliminary Point of Jurisdiction

The Employee outlined the position that this trade dispute was properly before the WRC in its written submissions and at the hearings.

Appeal Review

Following a complaint from a member (“Complainant) was made pursuant to the ‘Working Together to Create a Positive Working Environment’ (the “Policy”). An investigation was undertaken by the Employer to which the Employee was party to. The outcome of the investigation was communicated to the Employee by letter dated 19 December 2018.

On 23 March 2019, an Assistant Commissioner emailed the Employee advising that he had been appointment to carry out the review of the investigation.

The Employee complains that the Assistant Commissioner who was appointed was not the local Assistant Commissioner as provided for in the Policy and therefore, not the appropriate person to carry out the review. He also complains that the Assistant Commissioner noted in the report that he did not receive any objections to his appointment from the parties. The Employee submitted that this is irrelevant as he was not the correct person in the first instance to conduct the review.


The Employee replied on the same day to the Assistant Commissioner pointing out that the time for appeal had surpassed the 42-day limit provided for in the Policy.

By email reply on 25 March 2019, the Assistant Commissioner advised that he was appointed on 15 March 2019 by the Executive Director of Human Resources and People Development. It was also stated that the original Complainant did not receive the Investigation Report until 19 January 2019 and he accepted this and therefore, the appeal was made within the 42-day time frame. It is noted that the letter requesting an appeal was dated 29 January 2019 and addressed to Executive Director of HR and People Development. It is the Employee’s submission that the reference to 19 January 2019 was incorrect and should have read 19 December 2018 as he received the letter with the outcome on this date.

The Employee complains that the appeal was accepted outside of the time limit provided for in the Policy and the consent of the Employee was never sought to extend time.

A further email of 26 March 2019 from the Assistant Commissioner stated his intention to engage a third party to audit the investigation. On 11 May 2019, the Assistant Commissioner confirmed an expert had been approved and “preliminary material” had been provided to the Auditor. The Employee notes from the final report that the Assistant Commissioner met with the Auditor on 22 June 2019 and 22 August 2019. The report was not finalised until 23 August 2019.

The Employee also complains that there was a significant delay in between the behaviour complained of and the complaint been lodged. The second delay was between the review and report which was outside the time limit provided for in the Policy. No consent was sought from the Employee for the extension of time.

Response to Allegations

The Employee was not asked for a response to any of the allegations by the Assistant Commissioner.

Additional Complaints re the Appeal

The Employee made several...

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