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Recent ‘Sham’ and unfair redundancy cases

Two recent cases remind us of the requirement to be very thorough in our approach to redundancy – one case inovled the former CEO of the Temple Bar Gallery who was awarded €30,000 by the Employment Appeals Tribunal. The EAT stated that the Gallery had ‘contrived’ the redundancy, and although the Gallery had recently experienced a 35% reduction in public funding, the process the Gallery used to reduce headcount from 5 to 3 was unfair. The Gallery failed to engage with the CEO to consult with her in a meaningful way to undertake reduction in headcount. The new position, which the CEO was unsuccessful in applying for, was called a  ‘Studio Development Officer’, but the job content was practically the same as the old CEO role.

The other recent redundancy involved a tennis coach who was made redundant ‘by acclaim’ and received €26,000 – equivalent of 2 years’ salary by the EAT. The tennis coach had been working for his clue on a day to day basis over a period of 10 years. He approached the club committee to inform them that not all the hours he was contracted to work were being used. In this case, the EAT stated that the committee had not shown that there was a genuine redundancy and there was a lack of communication within the club.