EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL
CLAIM(S) OF: CASE NO.
EMPLOYEE -claimant UD693/2012
UNFAIR DISMISSALS ACTS, 1977 TO 2007
REDUNDANCY PAYMENTS ACTS, 1967 TO 2007
I certify that the Tribunal
(Division of Tribunal)
Chairman: Mr N. Russell
Members: Mr J. Browne
Mr F. Dorgan
heard this claim at Wexford on 14th November 2013
Claimant: Mr. Tony Kelly, UNITE, Keyzer Lane, Waterford
Respondent: IBEC, South East Region, Confederation House, Waterford Business Park, Cork Road, Waterford
The claim under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2007, was lodged with the Tribunal on 19 April 2012. The appeal under the Redundancy Payments Acts, 1967 to 2007 was lodged with the Tribunal on 12 September 2012. It was agreed by the parties that the claimant’s employment terminated on 2 September 2011. Representation on behalf of the respondent submitted that the claims were out of time and that neither exceptional circumstances nor reasonable cause existed to have prevented the claimant from lodging the claims within the prescribed time limits. The claimant gave evidence to the Tribunal in relation to the delay in lodging the claims.
Determination on preliminary issue:
The claimant’s position was that he struggled with both his physical and psychological health from the time of a cardiac by-pass in January 2011. He did, however, work a three-day week following the procedure and took up the role of Mayor in June 2011. His evidence was that he was having a hard time during that period but seemed to view the activities as therapeutic.
The claimant was on a medication regime from January 2011 and to this day is on reduced medication. The claimant indicated to the Tribunal that he experienced depression after his operation but resisted medication because of potential addiction concerns.
The first question for the Tribunal is whether there were exceptional circumstances to account for the delay in lodging the Claim under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2007. The Tribunal is of the view that cardiac surgery and the well-recognised aftermath can constitute “exceptional circumstances” and may have on this occasion.
However, the Tribunal must also look at whether the claimant was impeded or prevented from filing his claim on time. The Tribunal is of the opinion that, if the claimant was capable of fulfilling his duties as Mayor, he was equally capable of filing his claim within the time limits set down by Legislation.
Regrettably the Tribunal, while sympathetic to the claimant for the personal difficulties he has had, is not in a position to extend the time. Accordingly, the Tribunal declines jurisdiction to hear the claim under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2007.
The Tribunal finds that it must also decline jurisdiction to hear the claim under the Redundancy Payments Acts, 1967 to 2007 which was lodged on 12 September 2012. If the claimant was capable of filing the claim under the Unfair Dismissals Acts in April 2012, it follows that he was capable of filing a redundancy claim at that time also.
Sealed with the Seal of the
Employment Appeals Tribunal