Nrejaj v Keelings (Multiples)

JurisdictionIreland
CourtEmployment Appeal Tribunal (Ireland)
Judgment Date22 Sep 2006
Judgment citation (vLex)[2006] 9 JIEC 2202

Employment Appeals Tribunal

EAT: Nrejaj (claimant) v Keelings (Multiples) (respondent)

Abstract:

Employment law - Unfair Dismissal - Management position - Stock supervision - Failure to perform tasks - Conflict of evidence - Video - Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2001

EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL

CASE NO.

MN421/2005

UD578/2005

WT160/2005

CLAIM(S) OF:

Mark Nrejaj, 9 Maple Grove, Castleknock, Dublin 15

against

Keelings (Multiples), Roslin, St. Margarets, Co.Dublin under

MINIMUM NOTICE AND TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT ACTS, 1973 TO 2001

ORGANISATION OF WORKING TIME ACT, 1997

UNFAIR DISMISSALS ACTS, 1977 TO 2001

I certify that the Tribunal

(Division of Tribunal)

Chairman:

Mr. D. Mac Carthy S C

Members:

Mr. J. O'Neill

Ms R Bergin

heard this claim at Dublin on 15th March 2006

and 3rd July 2006

Facts: The claimant, a general operative with the respondent and alleged that he had never been informed of his promotion to team leader, having received no formal training. The respondent alleged that the claimant had seen stock being taken and had not done anything about it in his employed capacity The claimant had been given sight of the video footage.

Held by the EAT, that a conflict of evidence was apparent and the evidence of management would be preferred to that of the claimant. The claims under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2001 and the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act 1973 to 2001 and Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 had failed.

The determination of the Tribunal was as follows:-
Background
1

Counsel for the respondent told the Tribunal that the claimant was responsible for the compactor area in the fruit house. Stock was removed and the claimant admitted that he saw the stock being taken and he did not do anything about it. The claimant was interviewed and given notes of interviews, which were amended. The claimant worked for some time at a higher rate of pay. The claimant did not deal with the issue and he was dismissed. It was an error of omission and a number of employees were dismissed. The claimant thought that other people in authority were aware of this. The claimant was given sight of video footage and there was an extensive argument about this. It was absolutely clear that the claimant saw people take fruit on three separate occasions. The claimant was a qualified forklift driver and earned Eur600 weekly. It was incredible that the claimant was unable to obtain employment in eleven months. The claimant was dismissed for failure to report/escalate. The claimant was an exemplary employee prior to this and the respondent had no difficulty with the claimant being forwarded with a factual reference. The claimant was dismissed without notice and the respondent was of the view that the claimant's conduct warranted dismissal without notice.

2

The solicitor for the claimant told the Tribunal that the claimant was employed for three and a half years with the respondent company and had an unblemished record. The claimant was summoned to a so-called meeting on 7 April 2005 and was not given advance notice. He was interrogated for two and a half hours and not allowed a translator or a colleague to be present. The claimant demanded to see video evidence. The claimant was told to go home after the meeting. He was summoned to a meeting on 8 April 2005. On 7 April the claimant signed a statement without the presence of a translator or a colleague. He asked the receptionist to translate the statement and he was told that he was dismissed. The claimant never saw people load a van but the claimant admitted that he saw people putting fruit in the van. The claimant has endeavoured to obtain alternative employment. The claimant was not promoted to team leader Team leaders wore orange jackets and the claimant wore a yellow jacket.

Respondent's Case
3

The group HR manager told the Tribunal that the respondent company imported and packed fruit and some salad. There were different divisions within the respondent and the claimant worked in the packaging department. Prepared produce was delivered to the respondent and was then packed in punnets and delivered to customers. Five people worked in the pack house. As part of an investigation into theft the group HR manager met the claimant on 7 April 2005. She also investigated another employee. The first meeting was an investigative meeting and the second meeting was held under the disciplinary procedures. The meeting took place over two to two and a half hours. At times the meeting was hurried and the group HR manager spoke once or twice during the meeting. She felt that the claimant understood the questions he was asked and that he was very happy. At the end of the meeting she read the notes that she had taken to the claimant and at that stage the claimant did not suggest making amendments. She was absolutely certain that a video was played and shown at the meeting and questions were asked. She kept a record of the meeting and she typed notes afterwards. The next day, the 8 April 2005 she presented the claimant with a typed version of the minutes. She...

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