EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL
CLAIM(S) OF: CASE NO.
Breda Hayes - Claimant UD254/2014
Cork Education Support Centre - Respondent
UNFAIR DISMISSALS ACTS, 1977 TO 2007
I certify that the Tribunal
(Division of Tribunal)
Chairman: Mr K. Buckley
Members: Mr D. Hegarty
Mr O. Wills
heard this claim at Cork on 2nd July 2014
Claimant(s) : Mr Denis Kelleher, Denis Kelleher & Company, Solicitors, 70
Main Street, Midleton, Co Cork
Respondent(s) : Ms Jennifer O'Sullivan, Ronan Daly Jermyn, Solicitors, 2
Park Place, Citygate Park, Mahon Point, Cork
The claimant submitted her notice of resignation of employment to the respondent by way of letter dated 24 June 2013 stating that she will finish her employment on 19 July 2013.
She subsequently submitted her claim for unfair dismissal to the Tribunal secretariat on 31 January 2014 which was outside of the six months time limit as prescribed under section 8 (2) of the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 but within 12 months from the date of her termination of employment. Section 8 (2) of the said Act states:
“A claim for redress under this Act shall be initiated by giving a notice in writing (containing such particulars (if any) as may be specified in regulations under section 17 of this Act made for the purposes of subsection (8) of this section) to a rights commissioner or the Tribunal, as the case may be-
(a) within the period of 6 months beginning on the date of the relevant dismissal, or
(b) if the rights commissioner or the Tribunal, as the case may be, is satisfied that exceptional circumstances prevented the giving of the notice within the period aforesaid, then, within such period not exceeding 12 months from the date aforesaid as the rights commissioner or the Tribunal, as the case may be, considers reasonable.”
The Respondent made preliminary submissions in relation to the initiation of the Claimant’s claim. The respondent argued that the Claimant’s claim was not initiated within the six month period as set out in Section 8 (2) of the Unfair Dismissals Act.
The Tribunal then proceeded to hear detailed submissions from both parties in relation to the circumstances surrounding the initiation of the Claimant’s claim. The Claimant alleged that she was prevented from lodging her claim within six months of the date of the termination of her employment due to illness. The Respondent did not agree.
It was acknowledged that the Claimant presented with a very substantial number pf medical issues as outlined in the Medical Report provided to the Tribunal. However, the Medical Report does not state that the Claimant’s medical issues prevented her from lodging her claim form to the Tribunal. The Tribunal is bound the strict rules laid down by statute. The period for lodging an Unfair Dismissals Claim is six months. In certain limited circumstances, the Tribunal is allowed to extend this period to twelve months, but only in the event of exceptional circumstances being presented. In the absence of exceptional circumstances the Tribunal does not have a discretion.
The Tribunal is not satisfied in this case that exceptional circumstances existed which prevented the Claimant from lodging her claim within the six months time limit.
Accordingly, the Tribunal finds that it has no jurisdiction to hear the claim.
Sealed with the Seal of the
Employment Appeals Tribunal