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Unfair Dismissal

Caselaw Digest

Unfair Dismissal Caselaw Digest


In a round-up of last weeks Employment Appeals Tribunal decisions, a brief digest is outlined below. Although there were no specific awards to highlight, nonetheless employers should pay close attention to the consistent findings of unfair dismissal being made concerning failure to have proper procedures in place or indeed following them when they are in existence.

In Christine Browne v Neil Dennehy Transport Limited the Tribunal was not convinced that a genuine redundancy existed and preferred the Claimant’s evidence in that a new computer system had been introduced and the Claimant was not given reasonable opportunity to gain knowledge of it. In addition the Claimant’s position appeared to have been transferred to other staff as distinct from being made redundant. The Claimant was awarded €10,000 under the Unfair Dismissal Act 1977 (as amended).

Failure to have proper procedures in place lead to a finding of unfair dismissal and an award of €2,000 in the case of Paul Clarke v Regional Electrical Maintenance Limited.

In Edward Egan v Noxtad Limited the Respondent failed to appear leading the Tribunal to consider the uncontested evidence of the Plaintiff that he was unfairly selected for redundancy. The Tribunal heard that the Claimant was not made redundant and someone else had been put in his role. The Claimant gave evidence that he was out of work for 41 weeks and was awarded €42,879 under the Unfair Dismissal Act 1977 (as amended).

In Mark Murphy v Weigh Tech Limited the Tribunal was not satisfied that the behaviour of the Claimant amounted to gross misconduct. The Respondent sought to re-engage the Claimant some months later. One of the incidents which had occurred some time previously was only raised by the Respondent when they were served with the Claimant’s Form RP9. The Tribunal noted that the Respondent had no need to make the Claimant redundant. The second incident occurred after the Claimant’s dismissal and could not have contributed to the decision to dismiss. The Claimant was awarded €8,500 under the Unfair Dismissal Acts 1977 (as amended).

The Claimant’s dismissal in Catherine Mangan v Clontarf Creche Limited was deemed to be procedurally unfair and lacked proportionality. Here the Claimant had been dismissed for gross misconduct and was awarded €19,000 under the Unfair Dismissal Acts 1977 (as amended).

In Janus Stadnik v Walton Logistics Limited the Claimant was dismissed by the Respondent following an accident the previous week. The Tribunal noted that the Respondent had taken action in the heat of the moment and sought to correct its hand thereafter. The Tribunal also noted that whilst it was reasonable for the Claimant not to want to return to work, the Respondent had to be commended for trying to resolve the dispute. The Claimant failed to show how he had mitigated his losses and the Tribunal noted that the lack of reference from the Respondent may have made it more difficult to get work however it was noted that the Claimant had only made token efforts to get work. It was held that the Claimant was unfairly dismissed and he was awarded €5,085 under the Unfair Dismissal Act 1977 (as amended).

Failure by the Respondent liquidator to attend in the case of Alisa Visniak v Southbeg Malt Limited led to the Tribunal hearing the uncontested evidence of the Claimant that the Respondent failed to carry out an investigation and had no procedures were in place including a right to appeal. The Claimant was awarded €18,000 under the Unfair Dismissal Acts 1977 (as amended).