A software company has brought a High Court challenge against a decision by an adjudication officer of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) to award €129,000 to a former employee of the firm who had brought a complaint concerning the handling of his redundancy.
The action has been taken by ConsenSys Software & Services Ireland DAC trading as ConsenSys
which claims the finding against it was made in error, because the adjudication officer assigned by the WRC to hear the case never heard any evidence from witnesses.
The High Court heard that the company was the subject of a claim made under the Unfair Dismissals Act before the WRC by one of its former employees.
He had claimed that the procedure used by the company to select him for redundancy was deficient.
His claim was denied by the company.
In its High Court action, the firm claims that the adjudication officer who determined the dispute, had heard an outline of the case by the parties' representatives in August 2021.
During that hearing the officer was allegedly told that there would be evidence from three witnesses, and that those persons would be cross-examined.
No further hearing of the dispute was listed, nor took place.
Last month the WRC issued a decision in the former employee's favour and stated in its decision that the complainant and two other persons gave evidence and were cross examined.
The company said this was "a fundamental error" by the WRC and the adjudication officer and has sought to immediately have the decision set aside and a new officer assigned to hear the case.
The court heard that the WRC accepts that the decision was issued in error, and said it was prepared to have the matter reheard.
However, the employee's lawyers said they did not agree with that course of action, have claimed that the WRC cannot withdraw a decision of one of its adjudication officers, and wants the matter to go before the Labour Court by way of appeal.
As a result, the company has brought a High Court judicial review action against the WRC where it seeks an order quashing the decision which was issued on July 19th last.
It also wants orders that the dispute be remitted back to WRC for a fresh hearing to be heard by a different adjudication officer.
It further seeks declarations including that the decision was irrational, and in breach of constitutional and natural justice.
The matter came before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart, who on an ex-parte basis, granted the company permission to bring its challenge.
The matter will return before the court after the new legal term commences in October,