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Dismissal For Refusal To Wear a Face Mask

Whilst this is a decision of the UK Employment Tribunal, which upheld the summary dismissal of a lorry driver who refused to wear a face mask on a client site, it may provide some indication of how a similar case would be dealt with in the WRC. (Kubilius -v- Kent Food (Case Number: 3201960/2020)

Right To Work Remotely

With Google recently announcing plans for a fast tracked and earlier return to the office for its employees in the US, having previously being one of the first large tech Companies to go remote last year, many other employers are also now advanced with their planning on how they are going to manage this transition back to the office, and particularly how they will deal with employees who do not want to return. A WRC decision earlier this year may be of interest (Ref ADJ-00028293).

Conducting Workplace Investigations

As the WRC and Courts have continued to highlight deficiencies in workplace investigation practices, and employers have to deal with the implications and costs of inadequate investigations, this short article summaries some key points to consider when setting up a workplace investigation.

Sexual Harassment At Work

The well publicised case last year in which three care workers in a nursing home were awarded a total of €150,000 for sexual harassment that was perpetrated by a resident, provides some useful reminders for employers on how sexual harassment complaints need to be managed in the workplace (ADJ- 00015039)

Bullying At Work

The recently published updated and unified Code of Practice on the Prevention & Resolution of Bullying at work places a helpful stronger emphasis on informal resolution of bullying issues that arise, as well as providing further clarifications on what behaviours do not constitute bullying.

Making Remote Work

With the publication of the government's strategy last Friday on remote working, which includes the planned introduction of the right for employees to request a permanent remote working arrangement, many employees will be delighted that this could be the case, with others desperately waiting for a return to the office, and to get out of the house again every morning. In the meantime, a quick reminder of some useful practical tips for making remote working as easy as possible, for as long as it will remain necessary, in the short term at least, under Covid restrictions.

Working Time - Right To Disconnect

As we approach the Christmas holiday season, this article briefly reviews the issue of the right to disconnect, which has come to the fore once again, as a result of the unexpected move to remote working for many employees during the Covid 19 Pandemic, and the establishment of a pattern of working, which may remain a standard feature of working life for many going forward.

Failure to Investigate Complaint

A successful appeal to the Labour Court for a constructive dismissal claim resulted in the Adjudication Officer's decision being overturned and compensation of €10,000 being awarded to a former Training Co-Ordinator/Instructor who had been employed by the Rehab Group for 17 years before she resigned in 2018 due to the behaviour of a colleague. (Ref UDD2026)

Gross Misconduct Dismissal

The threshold of gross misconduct is a difficult one to meet for workplace dismissals and this recent case highlights that despite the long serving and clean employment record of the employee concerned, proper investigation and due process can ensure that inappropriate behaviour in the workplace can be dealt with correctly (ADJ 00026053).

Probationary Period Perils

The recent High Court case of Donal O'Donovan v Over-C Technology [2020] IEHC 291 was a stark reminder about the potential problems of not using contractual probatioanry period provisions correctly, when dismissing employees during their probatioanry period.

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