Both employers and employees should take note of the recent case of PM/Complainant v A Food Producer . Here it was found that the employee was unfairly dismissed due to a redundancy procedure being fundamentally flawed including being unfairly selected for redundancy.
What is interesting about this case was that the Workplace Relations Commission also considered the behaviour of the employee in contributing to his dismissal and compensation was substantially reduced as a result of his behaviour. The Adjudicator noted
“By his attitude, his demeanour, his lack of trust in his employer-setting them up with recorded meetings, his argumentative approach at the meetings on February 28th and again on March 4th,his repeated references to wanting an offer to leave-not only at the two meetings on these dates, but previously, the Complainant undoubtedly contributed to his own downfall. While these contributions do not remove the obligations of the employer of due process in selection for redundancy, they do fall to be taken into account when deciding on the remedy”.
The employee was awarded one year’s salary as compensation for unfair dismissal however the Adjudicator concluded
“In respect of the factor for the Complainants contribution to the decision to dismiss him , allegedly on grounds of redundancy, I decide that the Complainant contribution to the Respondents decision should be set at 60% taking into account his attitude towards the Respondents efforts to achieve savings expressed in his emails and his repeated references to a financial package in December and again in February”.
This case is a reminder for employees to engage meaningfully in any consultation process and to ensure their behaviour is professional at all times. The Workplace Relations Commission have power to take into account the behaviour of the employee and whether it contributed in any way to their dismissal.