EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL
CLAIM(S) OF: CASE NO.
UNFAIR DISMISSALS ACTS, 1977 TO 2007
I certify that the Tribunal
(Division of Tribunal)
Chairman: Ms P. McGrath B.L.
Members: Mr M. Noone
Mr J. Flannery
heard this claim at Carlow on 18th December 2013
Claimant: Mr. Kevin R. Callin B.L. instructed by Ms Dorothy Walsh, Dorothy J. Walsh, Solicitors, 44 Laurence Street, Drogheda, County Louth
Respondent: Ms. Mary Paula Guinness B.L. instructed by O’Mara Geraghty McCourt, Solicitors, 51 Northumberland Road, Dublin 4
Determination on preliminary issue:
The Tribunal has carefully considered the submission made to it. A preliminary point has been raised by the respondent which goes straight to the heart of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction to hear the claim brought before it.
The claimant commenced her employment on 1 December 2008 and there can be no doubt that the contract of employment was a fixed-term contract due to operate for a three year period and therefore due to expire on 31 November 2011. The contract of employment specifically excludes the entitlements contained in the Unfair Dismissals legislation being applicable on termination of the fixed-term contract. In addition the contract is signed by both parties. It is clear therefore to the Tribunal that it was intended by the parties at the commencement of this relationship that Section 2(2)(b) of the Unfair Dismissals Acts was intended to apply.
Well into the contract the employer wrote to the claimant indicating a need to extend the contract for a further six months. Reasons were given and the claimant did not demur from the continuation of her employment to the end of May 2012 i.e. by the further six months outlined in the letters of 17 June 2011 and 11 November 2011. Subsequently, on 16 March 2012 the claimant was notified that the contract would indeed come to an end on 31 May 2012.
In circumstances where the claimant’s position was now being made redundant, a redundancy package was given. The employer by submission indicated that this did not create an obligation or liability but just happened to be the position adopted by the employer and that had the job not been made redundant the claimant’s fixed-term contract would nevertheless have come to an end.
The Tribunal finds this employment relationship came to an end by reason of the lawful cessation of a fixed-term contract which had always been recognised by both parties as having been created and intended to be created, by both parties.
The Tribunal is specifically excluded from hearing an unfair dismissals claim arising out of the cessation of a fixed-term contract and therefore must decline jurisdiction to hear the claim under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2007.
Sealed with the Seal of the
Employment Appeals Tribunal