Labour Court finds 'severe wrong' perpetrated on HSE worker
THE LABOUR Court has found that a “severe wrong” was perpetrated by the Health Service Executive on one of its employees.
This, according to the court, arose from the worker losing out on a job due to an internal HSE reference that contained inaccurate and incorrect information about her work performance and employment record.
As a result, the Labour Court has recommended that the compensation to be paid by the HSE to the unidentified employee be more than tripled to €10,000 from the €3,000 recommended by a Rights Commissioner.
The Labour Court has also recommended that the compensation be paid out due to the distress in dealing with and addressing the issues raised and for the distress caused to the female employee.
The court has also recommended that “the complainant be continued in employment by the HSE in a temporary capacity without interruption pending her appointment to the first next suitable and appropriate permanent vacancy that becomes available”.
In the report on the case, the Labour Court stated that the issue “concerns the withdrawal of a permanent job offer after an unsatisfactory and disputed reference was made available to a prospective employer. The worker’s position is that issues listed in the reference were unfounded and untrue and that no opportunity was given to her to have the disputed issues resolved at local level”.
The argument raised on behalf of the worker claimed that management knowingly circulated a negative reference to prospective employers that was totally inaccurate and unfounded.
In response, the HSE stated that “in all of the circumstances of this dispute, management consider the Rights Commissioner’s recommendation to be appropriate”. The HSE added: “In addition to compensation and an apology, the initial reference has been removed from the worker’s file and will be replaced with a reference agreed between the parties. Management contend that these actions should be accepted by the worker in settlement of all matters in dispute.”