Probe into alleged verbal bullying of hospital worker at St Camillus in Limerick

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

An independent investigation into alleged bullying at St Camillus hospital is underway

An independent investigation into alleged bullying at St Camillus hospital is underway

A LIMERICK hospital worker, who claims to have been a target of “verbal bullying” by colleagues, has instigated an independent investigation, a Labour Court has heard.

The Labour Court was told at a hearing on September 19 that due to alleged bullying and harassment at St Camillus Hospital on Shelbourne Road in Limerick, he was “unable to work for over 11 months”.

The complainant, who started working at hospital in September 2015, submits that he was a target of “verbal bullying by two of his colleagues” from April 2017, after which he was “forced to take extended sick leave”.

The worker initiated a complaint under the HSE’s dignity at work policy on August 4, 2017. The claimant initially agreed to a mediation process but then decided he was “unable to meet the alleged bullies face-to-face”.

The worker then opted for a formal investigation into his complaints, and this process is “ongoing”.

The HSE said he “acted unreasonably by not fully utilising” the dignity at work policy prior to submitting a complaint to the Labour Court. The worker said the length of time it has taken for this policy to be implemented is “unacceptable”.

The HSE said it has managed this process “as expeditiously as possible”.

After the worker was certified fit to work, he accepted a position in Kilrush. However, he has submitted that this relocation “has caused further hardship and financial difficulties due to the significant distance” from his home.

The court heard he is seeking compensation and redeployment to a position closer to home.

The HSE indicated to the court that it would accept an application for redeployment “and seek to accommodate him in accordance with its normal HR procedures”.

The court recommended both parties await the outcome of the investigation into complaints, that there was “no merit” for a compensation claim at this point, and that the HSE “use its best endeavours to facilitate” the worker’s redeployment request.