Supreme Court outlines important test case for complaints to the WRC and finds in favour of person dismissed from job


Alice Heron

The court held that some provisions of the 2015 Workplace Relations Act are repugnant
to the constitution. The Supreme Court found that placing an complete ban on
employment disputes being heard in public is unconstitutional.
The court ruled on an appeal brought by a Polish man who brought a case to the WRC.
The applicant believed he was unfairly dismissed from his job at a convenience shop, and
he challenged the constitutionality of new procedures for determining workplace disputes
by the WRC.
The applicant submitted a complaint of unfair dismissal to the WRC, from his position as
an assistant manager of the Costcutter store located in North Strand Road in Dublin,
where he had worked between 2012-2016. This complaint was rejected by an
adjudication officer. The applicant then argued that because the process involved an
administration of justice, it was therefore unconstitutional, and brought judicial review
proceedings for such a decision.
The Supreme Court found that the work place relations commission determination of
complaints by their adjudication officers, constituted an administration of judges, a
constitutional power that is solely reserved for judges. Thus, such a power was deemed
to be unconstitutional. This decision will now have significant implications of the work of
the WRC.
The State’s acceptance that the dismissal of applicant’s complaint by the WRC was
unconstitutional, have now stated that the complaint should be decided by a different
adjudication officer.


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