Case Number: ADJ 34142. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Date12 May 2022
Docket NumberADJ 34142
ADJUDICATION OFFICER Recommendation on dispute under Industrial Relations Act 1969

Investigation Recommendation Reference: ADJ 34142

Parties:

Worker

Employer

Anonymised Parties

A Line Manager

Automotive Components Manufacturer

Representatives

Duncan Inverarity of A&L Goodbody LLP

Dispute(s):

Act

Dispute Reference No.

Date of Receipt

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

CA-00045111-01

08/07/2021

Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Hugh Lonsdale

Date of Hearing: 27/04/2022

Procedure:

In accordance with Section 13 of the Industrial Relations Act 1969 (as amended) following 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 information relevant to the dispute.

Background:

The worker says he is out of work on long term sick leave because he can no longer work night shifts and the employer would not accommodate him. The employer says they have taken all reasonable steps to help the worker and if he was not satisfied he should have raised a grievance through internal procedures.

Summary of Workers Case:

The worker says he was working a three-shift system and this resulted in him not being able to sleep properly. When he asked for an alternative job that would not require him working nights he was told there was a vacancy as a General Operative, which was a two-step demotion, or as a Laboratory Technician, which was a one-step demotion. Both options would involve a dramatic decrease in pay. He says the company doctor confirmed he should not work night shifts because of his health. He has been on long term sick leave because the company would not allow him to change to only working the early shift in his current role (6am to 2pm).

He went to HR with his request but did not use the grievance procedure. He says he was not treated well. At this stage he would like to be made redundant.

Summary of Employer’s Case:

The employer says the complainant started a period of sick leave on 11 September 2019. They referred him for an independent medical assessment on 14 November 2019 and the doctor confirmed the worker was unfit to return to work. A subsequent medical assessment on 7 January 2020 confirmed the worker would be fit to return to work from 13 January 2020. In a meeting with HR on 4 March 2020 the worker requested a move to the morning shift going forward and he explained this was due to his wellbeing.

The worker went on extended sick leave 12 February 2021. A medical assessment on 19 April 2021 noted that daytime shifts may be necessary to help the worker’s condition of sleepiness and poor concentration. On 22 April 2021 HR confirmed it would not be possible for the worker to move to a day shift only basis in his current role; as his role remained on a 3-cycle shift pattern. HR mentioned the possibility of moving to another role and a list of vacancies was attached to the letter but noted that the pay conditions would be in line with the roles.

In subsequent correspondence with HR the worker said he was entitled to redundancy due to his mental health condition and cautioned he had no alternative but to apply for constructive dismissal.

On 11 May 2021 HR wrote again...

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