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Flawed procedure does not automatically result in Unfair Dismissal

The case if a Printer v Pharma Print Packaging Company confirms that minor flaws in a disciplinary procedure will not be deemed fatal as long as they are not “fatal to the Respondents case”.  

Facts
The Claimant was employed by the Respondent as a Printer and was subject to disciplinary sanctions on a number of occasions. The Claimant was on his final written warning when following an incident on 11 December 2017, a report by the Finishing Manager prompted an investigation into a number of allegations against the Claimant which included lateness and threatening a colleague and his family.

The Claimant was subject to an investigation, which was progressed to a disciplinary hearing taking place where he denied all allegations against him, except lateness. The outcome of the disciplinary hearing as that the allegations were substantiated and that the Complainants behaviour constituted on-going and consistent breaches of the attendance at work policies and that his behaviour amounted to gross misconduct. The Claimant was given the right to appeal the decision until 29th March 2018 but the appeal was not submitted until 29th March 2018.

Decision
The Claimant submitted that the procedure adopted by the Respondent was flawed as he was at no stage of the proceedings informed that there was a potential for the termination of his employment, he was not given the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses who had made allegations and he was refused the right of appeal.

The Adjudicator noted that there were two flaws in the procedure adopted; the Claimant was not given the opportunity to confront or question witnesses and he was also refused the right of appeal because his appeal was not lodged in time. The Adjudicator confirmed that the flaws were not fatal to the Respondent’s contention and found that the dismissal was fair in all the circumstances.

Link

31st January 2019

Anne O’Connell
Solicitors
Fitzwilliam Hall
Fitzwilliam Place
Dublin 2.
www.aocsolicitors.ie


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