Unfortunately we are seeing an increase in redundancy related queries in the office and this is also evident in some of the recent cases published by the Workplace Relations Commission.
In the recent May case of An Office Administrator v A Wholesaler ADJ00026271 the complainant (employee) was employed by the respondent (employer) as an office administrator in the respondent’s warehouse located in Grand Canal Quay. She lived in Wicklow and travelled to work by train and the train station was located near the office. Her employer notified her that the office location was moving from Grand Canal Quay to Clonshaugh. The complainant informed her employer that she he was not moving to Clonshaugh because it was too far away way from the train station and she would have to drive to work. Her employer offered to increase her salary and to also arrange to collect her from the train station however the offer of collection was only made after she had resigned.
The Workplace Relations Commission found that the employee was entitled to a statutory redundancy payment and that the offer of alternative employment was not suitable.
The Adjudicator concluded
“I note that the offer to collect the complainant from the train station was made on the 30th of January and after she had resigned, so this offer was not a factor she could have considered before she resigned. Given the complainant had to change from commuting by train to work to commuting by car due to the relocation, on some of the most heavily congested roads around the city, the extra time it would take, the financial implications of running a car and the impact the commute would have on her quality of life, I am satisfied it was not unreasonable for her to refuse the job in the new location. In the circumstances, I am satisfied that the complainant is entitled to redundancy and I allow the appeal by the complainant against the respondent’s decision to refuse redundancy”