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Monaghan direct provision worker guilty of 'misconduct' during early days of Covid19

Jun 27, 2022 18:06 By News Northern Sound
Monaghan direct provision worker guilty of 'misconduct' during early days of Covid19 Monaghan direct provision worker guilty of 'misconduct' during early days of Covid19
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'Procedures used to dismiss him were unfair'

A worker at a Monaghan direct provision centre who failed to wear PPE or enforce social distancing during the first weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic was found guilty of "gross misconduct akin to a workplace assault" according to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Siarhei Klimasheuski’s complaint against Tattonward Ltd under the Unfair Dismissals Act was dismissed by the WRC on Saturday last.

Proceedings heard that Mr Klimasheuski was on leave when the Covid-19 protocols were explained to staff on March 25, 2020.

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His defence team added the procedures used to dismiss him were therefore unfair.

The office administrator at the centre, Kathryn Kennedy, said the complainant had been provided with PPE in the days before the briefing and she had fully explained the new procedures to him upon his return to work the following day, March 26th.

On April 1, another porter reported Mr Kilmasheuski was not wiping down door handles with sanitiser or cleaning communal areas.

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Ms Kennedy highlighted how ‘in spite" of leaving a note in the porter’s cabin with the spray bottles he was to use on the night shift, the next morning "it was clear the products had not been used".

The centre’s chef, Mary Mannering, gave evidence that on April 8, the complainant "waved his hand and shrugged" when she asked him to get residents to use hand sanitiser.

She highlighted how in another incident a week later, the complainant  failed to manage the numbers in the canteen and was not wearing either a mask or a plastic apron as required.

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Meanwhile, the company said the complainant was suspended after the third alleged incident on April 14, and investigated, before being dismissed by letter on May 22.

Mr Klimasheuski’s position was that the protocols should have been explained to him in Russian, as English is not his first language.

He pointed out that this didn’t occur until after the "alleged health and safety breaches".

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He also said that no PPE was provided to him before April 10, and he had to buy his own mask.

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