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Unfair Dismissal – Employers Get the Basics Correct!

Time and time again we see employers make simply mistakes when dismissing an employee which end up costing them large compensation payments.The case of An Employee v An Employer ADJ00014328 is such a case. Here the employee succeeded in a claim for unfair dismissal because of a number of mistakes including:(a) The employer did not follow their own disciplinary procedure(b) The employer did not notify the employee in writing in advance of any disciplinary procdure(c) The employer failed to set out the charges or complaints in writing in advance of any disciplinary hearing. The employee was therefore unable to prepare his response and avail of representation at each of the disciplinary stages. The employee may also have needed a person to assist in translation at each meeting.The Adjudicator noted…….“I am satisfied that the process which led to the termination of the Complainant’s employment fell short of the requirements of fair procedures and the Respondent’s own disciplinary procedure”. Although the employee failed to appeal the decision to dismiss him, the Adjudicator found “……..that the Respondent has not rebutted the presumption of unfair dismissal”.A key lesson for employers in this case is to have a proper disciplinary policy in place and to follow it. In the event an employer does not have a disiplinary policy (which we recommend they should), they should follow the principles set out in the Workplace Relations Commission Code of Practice on Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures attached here.

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