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Workplace Investigation Not Up To Standard

This recent WRC decision highlighted the importance of a robust investigation stage that is not predetermined, when a betting shop manager from a retail and online gaming operation, was awarded almost €11k after being unfairly dismissed due to a number of procedural flaws in both the investigation and disciplinary stages. (Ref ADJ-00026144)

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)

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).

Age and Health Discrimination

This is an interesting case in which an employer suggested that it had cited age and heath to be the reason for a cleaner's dismissal to assist her getting social welfare, rather than referring to the real gross misconduct reason of inappropriate behaviour with a resident in the disability service that she worked in. This was a costly mistake that resulted in an award of €10,000 being made against them for discrimination (ADJ - 00025681)

Right To Legal Representation At Disciplinary Hearings

The Court of Appeal decision last October in Irish Rail v McKelvey has provided some much needed clarity for HR practitioners on the issue of whether legal representation should be permitted at internal disciplinary hearings, following the confusion caused by the earlier decision of Eagar J in Lyons v Longford & Westmeath ETB.

Gross Misconduct Dismissal Held To Be Fair

The Labour Court recently rejected an appeal by a hotel worker that his summary dismissal for breach of IT & Security Policies was unfair and confirmed that the decision to dismiss was within the range of responses of a reasonable employer with regard to the employee's conduct and that his dismissal was not unfair (Determination UDD 1839).

Beauty Therapist Retains 10k Award in Appeal

In this recent Labour Court Determination(UD1835), following an appeal by a Beauty Company against an Adjudicator's decision to award a former employee €10,000, there are lots of learning points for employers on how to run disciplinary procedures correctly, as the Labour Court dismissed the appeal due to a number of procedural errors on how the disciplinary process was run.

Reinstatement For Banker Unfairly Dismissed for Gross Misconduct

In a recent decision of the WRC, a bank has been ordered to re-instate a dismissed employee where it was found that the bank had insufficient grounds to uphold the allegations for which the complainant was summarily dismissed (ADJ-00001266).

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