O'Connell v Mid-Tipperary Co-Op Livestock Society
EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL
CASE NO. UD1235/2014
The fact of dismissal was in dispute between the parties.
At the outset of the hearing it was submitted on behalf of the respondent that the claim was lodged outside the stipulated six-month time period as stated in the Acts. It was further submitted that the claimant does not have one year's continuous service to enable him to bring a claim under the Acts. The Tribunal heard evidence from the claimant and the Manager of the respondent which is a mart, operated by farmers, for farmers, to facilitate the sale of livestock.
The respondent operates a panel comprising mainly of farmers and other individuals with requisite skillsets. The individuals on the panel are called to work on a rota basis. The claimant's employment with the respondent dated back to 2007 but became more consistent from 2009. The level of work received by the claimant could vary somewhat year on year and it was the respondent's case that there was no guarantee of work by virtue of being on the panel. For example the claimant worked 36 days in 2013, 34 days in 2012 but only 15 days in 2011. The claimant's usual day at the mart was Monday.
The practice of the mart is that it ceases to operate at the end of November each year and re-opens the following January. It was the claimant's evidence that each year the yard foreman would telephone him to return the following year.
The last day the claimant worked was the 25th November 2013. However, he did not receive the usual telephone call to return in January 2014. He attended at his workplace and observed another employee in his place. The yard foreman told him he did not know what was happening about the claimant's position.
The clamant attended the workplace on a second occasion and again spoke with the yard foreman who this time told him that he should speak to the Manager of the mart in relation to his query.
It was common case between the parties that the claimant and the Manager had a meeting at which it was made clear to the claimant that he was not being provided with further work. It was the Manager's evidence that he was certain he did not have this meeting with the claimant until March...
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