News from the courts

Failure to follow correct procedures, €40,000:

An employee has been awarded just under €40,000 after the Employment Appeals Tribunal concluded that his employer, Future Print, failed to follow correct procedures in the run up to his dismissal. The company claimed that the employee’s performance at work was not of an adequate standard and that he contributed greatly to the circumstances surrounding his dismissal, including a serious error in a print run, which cost the company €11,000 (according to the claimant) or €20,000 (according to the employer).The Tribunal was told that the employee was not issued with a written decision before his dismissal appeal, and in the run up to the dismissal, the second warning stage was skipped as the employer believed that the error was a gross error. The manager of the employee never stated that the employee was going to be fired, but that he was ‘at the end of the road’.

The employee also stated that he had never been furnished with a code of conduct, and he did not have a written contract.

The Tribunal awarded the claimant €35,000 under the Unfair Dismissals Act, along with €4,600 as the equivalent of four weeks’ notice, under the Minimum Notice & terms of Employment Acts.

Selection for Redundancy was unjustified, €28,000:

An employee has been awarded €28,000 in compensation for unfair dismissal by the Employment Appeals Tribunal after it concluded that there was “no adequate justification for the employee’s selection for redundancy”.

Crystal Air Ltd. had a 91% decrease in turnover, and numbers fell from 67 to 12 by the time of the EAT hearing. The employee was a ducting operative, and had been previously laid off for 6 weeks due to lack of work. The company selected people for redundancy using a 12 element redundancy selection matrix, with the total points adding up to 100 points. The employee received a letter stating that he was being let go as the company was only ‘keeping qualified lads’. The employee subsequently discovered that other general operatives were kept on after he was made redundant.

Award for employee dismissed for poor timekeeping, €3,800:

The Employment Appeals Tribunal has awarded just over The Employment Appeals Tribunal has awarded just over €3,800 in compensation to an 18 year old Co. Wexford bar worker, who was dismissed for poor time keeping and regular absences from work.

The Tribunal stated the following reasons for its finding:
– the employer had no proper disciplinary procedures in place
– Management never offered the employee representation at any stage of the disciplinary process, and never informed the employee of her entitlement to representation
– Management did not give any consideration to the employee’s age
– There was no evidence of the employer having a progressive disciplinary procedures on the issue of absenteeism in particular
– The nature and manner of the communication between the parties could have been far better and the potential for misconception and conflict was ever present

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