CASE REF: 106/01FET
APPLICANT: James Gibson
RESPONDENT: Short Brothers PLC
The unanimous decision of the Tribunal is that it does not find that the applicant was unlawfully discriminated against by the respondent. The application is dismissed.
The applicant was represented by Ms S Bradley, Barrister-at-Law, instructed by the Equality Commission.
The respondent was represented by Mr R Murphy of the Engineering Employers' Federation.
A. Jimmy Kennedy
He took voluntary early retirement in June 1998. It was common case that he was employed by the company as a temporary employee from 27 March 2000 until 15 September 2000. He was working on the CRJ – 200 contract reporting to Stephen Geoghegan. The Tribunal heard evidence and saw a document which confirmed that Mr Kennedy had been brought in from Hytek Services Limited, an agency that supplied workers to Shorts. The Tribunal noted that he was paid on an hourly basis.
B. Colin McVeigh
He took voluntary early retirement. The applicant stated that he thought Mr McVeigh had been re-engaged twice. The respondent's representative had replied to a Tribunal Order and stated that Mr McVeigh was re-engaged. Mr Irvine, the Human Resources Adviser confirmed that he knew Mr McVeigh from when he worked in Shorts and saw him in the company about six months to a year after he had left. He asked Mr McVeigh why he was back and Mr McVeigh said he was back to do a specific task for the company for a short period. Mr Stephen Cowan was the Procurement Manager for new business and he stated that he knew Colin McVeigh and Mr Sherard. Mr McVeigh came back because he had the expertise required to deal with a problem on the Fokker Wing Production. At this time the engineering department needed a number of people to get delivery on time and they required a total of eleven people. They were under a great deal of pressure and could only source six or seven employees internally. These people were called surveillance reps and the Tribunal saw a document compiled by Mr Cowan which gave the entry criteria for these reps. He contacted Mr McVeigh and Mr Sherard. He knew that they had left the company and that they had gone out on voluntary early retirement. He gave them the criteria for the surveillance rep posts and they agreed to come back on a very short term basis. He stated that both men worked approximately six to nine months and enabled the company to meet the time schedule and deliver within the budget.
C. Brian Wightman
He took voluntary early retirement in March 1996. The Tribunal saw documents which showed that he had been a temporary employee on an hourly basis in December 1998. The Tribunal accepted that his employment was terminated on 29 January 1999 and again there is a reference to being a temporary employee. The Tribunal saw further documentation from the company which related to Billy Atkinson who had been recruited as a temporary employee and the assembly methods manager stated in his letter that the task was scheduled to last six or seven weeks. Again he was referred to as a temporary employee and a letter to Billy Atkinson told him that he would be paid an hourly rate for a minimum of twenty hours per week. It also stated "that hours and days of work may be varied in accordance with departmental requirements or by mutual arrangement". It further stated "the company will operate one week's notice of termination by either party".
Date and place of hearing:
Date decision recorded in register and issued to parties: