Tesco Ireland Ltd (Represented by Irish Business and Employers' Confederation) v Martin Cording (Represented by Mandate Trade Union)

 
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Labour Court (Ireland)

FULL RECOMMENDATION

UD/17/133

DETERMINATION NO.UDD1811

ADJ-00002970 CA-00004040-001

PARTIES:
Tesco Ireland Limited (Represented by Irish Business and Employers' Confederation)
and
Martin Cording (Represented by Mandate Trade Union)
SUBJECT:
1

1. Appeal of Adjudication Officer Decision No: ADJ-00002970 CA-00004040-001.

BACKGROUND:
2

2. The Employer appealed the Decision of the Adjudication Officer to the Labour Court in accordance with the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2015. A Labour Court hearing took place on 10 January 2018. The following is the Determination of the Court:

DETERMINATION:
The Appeal
3

This appeal is brought by Tesco Ireland Limited (‘the Respondent’) against a decision of an Adjudication Officer (ADJ-00002970, dated 17 July 2017) under the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 (‘the Act’). The Notice of Appeal was received by the Court on 24 August 2017. The Court heard the appeal in Dublin on 10 January 2018, along with an appeal under the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act 1973. The Adjudication Officer held that the claim of unfair dismissal was well-founded and awarded Mr Cording (‘the Complainant’) compensation of €5,000.00.

The Factual Background
4

The Complainant was employed at all material times at the Respondent's Express store in Enfield, Co. Meath. He was employed on a 35-hour per week contract and earned a gross annual salary of €27,761.31. His position was that of Team Leader.

5

In or about early October 2015, it came to the Respondent's attention that there was a shortfall in the cash receipts from a number of its self-scan tills in the Enfield store. The Respondent carried out a number of technical checks on the tills during the week beginning 27 October 2015. No technical fault was discovered. The Respondent, therefore, decided to place additional cash into the machines in order to determine if the cash loss was ongoing. The Complainant was identified using CCTV footage recorded on 10 November 2015 accessing the notes dispensers on the tills and subsequently removing the bins besides the tills. At no stage was he pictured with cash in his hands. Nevertheless, on 13 November 2015 – and without prior notice – he was asked by Ms Ciara Doherty, Operations Manager for the Tesco Express stores to attend a meeting during which he was shown the CCTV footage recorded on 10 November 2015. The Complainant denied that he had taken any money from the tills. Ms Doherty, nevertheless, suspended him at this meeting pending a full investigation.

6

The Complainant was invited by letter dated 25 November to attend a formal investigation meeting to be conducted by Ms Doherty That meeting took place on 2 December 2015. The Complainant was accompanied by a Union Official. A disciplinary meeting took place on 7 January 2016. It was conducted by Mr Alan Coates, Store Manager of Tesco Express in Glasnevin. The Complainant was again represented by a Union Official. Mr Coates – by letter dated 20 February 2016 – communicated his decision to summarily dismiss the Complainant. The Complainant appealed this decision. An appeal meeting was held on 16 March 2016, chaired by Ms Tanya McGarry, Operations Manager. On 22 April 2016 Ms McGarry issued her decision in which she upheld the original sanction of summary dismissal.

Witnesses
7

Ms Ciara Doherty gave evidence in relation to...

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