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€7,500 awarded in EAT due to flawed procedures

A former Tesco employee has been awarded €7,500 in compensation after the Employment Appeals Tribunal concluded that the procedures used in the run up to his dismissal were flawed, with insufficient emphasis being placed on his previous record as an employee.

The employee had been found asleep during the afternoon shortly after he had completed an alcohol stock count. The employee became aggressive at the initial meeting as the Grocery Manager who found him was taking the notes. The meeting was suspended and the employee was sent home with another meeting arranged for the next day. The employee said that he had begun to feel unwell at work, but couldn’t explain this as he did not have an interpreter.

The employee was suspended with pay, and was dismissed following consideration by the company.

The EAT found that the company’s procedures were flawed. The EAT stated that an interpreter should have been provided for the employee without him having to request an interpreter. The company also failed to consider the employee’s work record. He had an impeccable work record, and had never received any warnings. This should have been considered as part of the overall review and consequently – in the EAT’s view – led to an unbalanced decision and disproportionate sanction.

Points system led to unfair selection for redundancy:

€21,500 was awarded to an office administrator for unfair dismissal after it concluded that she was unfairly selected for redundancy by her employer, an engineering consultancy.

The EAT, however, did not offer the claimant the option of reinstatement, which she had sought.

The Engineering consultancy had developed a points system or matrix to assess who would be selected for redundancy. The matrix had six criteria:

–          Qualifications and relevant skills

–          Other relevant training

–          Areas of expertise or knowledge

–          Years of experience

–          Business critical role

–          Team balance

8 people were being made redundant- those with the lowest score were picked. The employee who took the case was the’ lowest scorer’.

The scoring matrix or criteria were NOT made available to the employees and the EAT concluded that the employer did not act reasonably when it came to selecting the employee for redundancy.

They –   failed to advise the employee of the criteria to be applied for redundancy

–          Failed to give her the opportunity to make representations on her own behalf in respect of these criteria

–          Failed to provide an appeal mechanism for the claimant

–          The company adhered rigidly to a system of selection that did not provide for any consideration of redeployment

–          Failure to have regard to the employee’s length of service