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WRC Orders Re-Engagement of Dismissed Employee

posted 12 months ago

Robert Newton v Go-Ahead Transport Services (Dublin) Limited ADJ-00043139 concerned a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission (“WRC”) under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2015. The Complainant argued that he was unfairly dismissed from the Respondent and that the Respondent failed to take account of mitigating circumstances.

Facts: The Complainant was employed by the Respondent from early January 2019 until his dismissal on 14th September 2022. He was initially employed as a Bus Driver and was later promoted to the role of Depot Supervisor. The Complainant submitted during the hearing that it was his role to allocate drivers and buses to the various different routes, and that his colleagues in the Control Room were responsible for monitoring drivers and diverting traffic to assist drivers.

On 18th August 2022, the Complainant was informed by a bus driver that he was unfamiliar with the route he was assigned to. The Complainant informed the driver that the Control Room would guide him along the route. An employee in the Control Room “JF” rang the Complainant to query this approach. The Complainant responded that it was not his role to guide the driver and that guiding drivers was the responsibility of the Control Room.  Another colleague assisted the driver. The Control Room Manager “FS” asked to speak with the Complainant to discuss the matter and JF was also at the meeting. FS told the Complainant that he should not have assigned an untrained driver to the route and that Control Room staff did not have capacity to guide drivers anymore. During the investigation, the Complainant explained that he felt threatened, belittled and harassed in front of two other Control Room employees who were there and joined in, one of whom was JF. The Complainant accepted that he lost his composure during the meeting. He denied using the word “dickhead” but agreed that he “shushed” JF when he tried to speak. Following the meeting, JF submitted a written complaint about the Complainant and went on sick leave for work-related stress following the meeting.

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