EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL
CLAIM(S) OF: CASE NO.
Deirdre Woodhouse UD118/2013
Tom Collins Engineering Limited
UNFAIR DISMISSALS ACTS, 1977 TO 2007
MINIMUM NOTICE AND TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT ACTS, 1973 TO 2005
I certify that the Tribunal
(Division of Tribunal)
Chairman: Mr. P. Wallace
Members: Mr. W. O'Carroll
Ms. H. Henry
heard this case in Ennis on 30th May 2014
Claimant(s): Mr. John Spencer, Spencer & Donovan Solicitors, Main Street, Ballina, Co. Tipperary
Respondent(s): Mr. Brian Dolan, Peninsula Business Services (Ireland) Ltd., Unit 3, Block S,
East Point Business Park, Dublin 3
The determination of the Tribunal was as follows:-
Claims were brought under unfair dismissal and minimum notice legislation in respect of the employment of a book-keeper from July 2008 to September 2012. It was alleged that between mid-September and late-September 2012 there had been conduct on the part of the claimant’s superiors which had led to the ending of the claimant’s employment. In particular, it was alleged that the state of the respondent’s accounts had been the cause of an argument at a meeting attended by the claimant, TC (the respondent’s managing director) and DO (the respondent’s accountant).
It was further alleged that CW (TC’s secretary and back-up book-keeper) had gone from part-time to full-time and had taken over the claimant’s work. It was contended that the claimant’s employment had ended unfairly in that the respondent had not complied with the claimant’s contract by adhering to disciplinary and grievance procedures. The redress sought was financial compensation.
The respondent’s position was that an accounting-related meeting involving TC and DO had been the catalyst for the claimant to leave the respondent’s premises and resign of her own volition such that there had been no dismissal.
The respondent’s case was that the claimant had abandoned the respondent in that she had effectively resigned by walking out of a meeting. The claimant’s case was that she had been in good standing with the respondent in that she had received a bonus before going on summer holidays in her final year but that she had been pressured at the final meeting with TC and DO whereupon there had been no proper procedures by the respondent in respect of her such that a constructive dismissal resulted.
Having carefully considered the testimony of the claimant, TC, CW and DO, the Tribunal noted that the claimant had never actually resigned. Rather, she found that she was unable to make contact with the respondent after the final meeting. Her position was undermined subsequent to her maternity. CW was given the claimant’s work. Things got heated at the final meeting. The Tribunal does not accept DO’s version of the said meeting. The claimant was intimidated by the conduct of TC and DO. She was justified in leaving. She subsequently endeavoured to communicate with the respondent with a view to mending bridges but to no avail. The Tribunal found that TC did not make sufficient effort to make contact with the claimant after the meeting. She was his employee and he owed her responsibility even if DO did not have a high opinion of her.
Having considered the claimant’s testimony as to efforts to mitigate her financial loss, the Tribunal, in all the circumstances of the case, unanimously deems it just and equitable to award her compensation in the amount of €11,000.00 (eleven thousand euro) in allowing her claim under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2007.
The claim under the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts, 1973 to 2005, fails because the Tribunal did not find the respondent to have been in breach of the minimum notice legislation.
Sealed with the Seal of the
Employment Appeals Tribunal