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Contradicting decisions from WRC regarding Procedure

In the first case, the WRC made an award of €13,156.00 compensation to a claimant who was ultimately dismissed for theft. The WRC found that that the procedural inadequacies were of sufficient significance to render the dismissal procedurally unfair. The respondent had failed to furnish the claimant with full details of the charges against him and he should have been given an opportunity to respond to same in advance of a decision to dismiss. In making the award, the WRC considered that the dismissal was substantially unfair, and the respondent’s conclusion that the claimant’s actions amounted to serious misconduct was on the balance of probabilities, reasonable.

In the case of A Production Machine Operator v A Manufacturing Company, the Complainant’s claim for Unfair Dismissal failed despite the Adjudicator acknowledging that “the respondent’s procedures were not perfect and there were some flaws..”. The Complainant was dismissed for gross-misconduct due to negligence which cost the respondent 4 weeks of production amounting to €93,000. The Respondent did not follow their own Disciplinary procedure as the Complainant was not afforded his right to representation at his appeal hearing or the opportunity to cross examine witnesses. The Adjudicator took into consideration all the circumstances and the monetary loss incurred by the respondent and as a result did “not consider an award of compensation to be appropriate or necessary in the circumstances”.

The contradicting decisions of the WRC make it difficult for both employees and employers to anticipate what conclusion the Adjudicator will come to.

Link 1
Link 2

31st October 2018

Anne O’Connell
Fitzwilliam Hall
Fitzwilliam Place
Dublin 2.

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