Judgement: Spur Tree Spices v Minister of Labour & Social Security

In Spur Tree Spices v Minister of Labour & Social Security we successfully asked the Court to quash the Minister’s decision to refer a ‘dispute’ to the Industrial Disputes Tribunal because the referral was ultra vires s.11A Labour Relations & Industrial Disputes Act.

In the case the workers were summarily dismissed for theft then unconditionally reinstated with full pay.  The workers accepted their reinstatement and on their return to work, were placed on paid leave and invited to attend disciplinary hearings concerning the incident that led to their initial summary dismissals. All but one worker chose to not attend the disciplinary hearings and the workers were dismissed in their absence.

The Court ruled that the disputes concerning the summary dismissals were remedied and there was no complaint lodged in respect of the second round of dismissals that were now, in any event, statute-barred.

The Court saw nothing wrong with the company reinstating the former employees on paid leave of absence, pending the completion of their disciplinary hearings and ruled that it cannot be that the requirement to participate in the disciplinary hearings vitiated the reinstatements.

See full judgement here.

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