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Employer successfully defends bullying-related dismissal claim

The employee was employed as a chef in Dundrum Town Centre, and he had argued that he had been constructively dismissed, having had to resign as a result of the company’s failure to take action over his complaints of bullying and harassment.

His claim was that he was working excessively and was not getting time to take breaks as he was working on his own. This hours – he stated – were affecting his health and he had 3 periods of sick leave, and made at least 20 complaints to the HR manager. However he never made a written complaint concerning his working hours, and it was usual for employees to work more than 39 hours on occasions. The HR manager stated that although there was often raised voicese in the kitchen, this did not amount to bullying, and heated conversations in the kitchen were normal.

The Tribunal accepted that the claimant may have had reasons to be unhappy, but also accepted that this was, in the main, due to the nature of the job, rather than bullying and harassment.

(Sylvester Prochniki v Harvey Nichols (Dublin) Ltd, Dundrum TC – UD 1685/2010)