EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL
CLAIM OF: CASE NO.
Angela Kelly UD303/2012 RP258/2012
Designwell Limited T/A Hanlons Filling Station
UNFAIR DISMISSALS ACTS, 1977 TO 2007
REDUNDANCY PAYMENTS ACTS, 1967 TO 2007
MINIMUM NOTICE AND TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT ACTS, 1973 TO 2005
I certify that the Tribunal
(Division of Tribunal)
Chairman: Ms M. McAveety
Members: Mr P. Pierson
Mr O. Nulty
heard this claim at Longford on 14th June 2013 and 23rd September 2014
Claimant: Mr Conor Quinn, John J Quinn & Co., Solicitors, Earl Street, Longford
Respondent: Peninsula Business Services, Unit 3 Ground Floor, Block S,
East Point Business Park, Dublin 3
The respondent company operates a convenience store which includes a delicatessen where hot and cold foods are served. The claimant was employed as a deli-assistant in 2006 and was deli- manager when her work ended in February 2012. The claim under the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967 to 2007 was withdrawn at the outset of the hearing.
Much time was given to the authenticity of a signature on a settlement document and a handwriting expert told the Tribunal that he found the signature to be genuine. The Tribunal considered the evidence and determined that there was no reason to find that the settlement contained anything other than the claimant’s signature.
The claimant told the Tribunal that she worked for the respondent at various locations until 31st January 2012. On that day she was taken to the office, told by PH that her work was sh..t, and advised that she was being “let go” as and from Friday 3rd February 2012. No complaints were ever made by anyone about her, she had no warnings and was never made aware of any problems with her work. She received no notification in advance of being called to the office. The meeting was on a Tuesday, she was told her last day of work was Friday, and not to discuss anything with anybody. She did sign one document but as far as she was concerned never signed anything stating that she accepted redundancy. It was very upsetting, she didn’t know what she was signing and it was a case of “if you want to get your money on Friday sign this or get out”.
The claimant said that she was getting married the following May, had applied for a loan for it on the strength of her earnings and was left devastated by the entire situation. She went to see her solicitor on the Tuesday evening but asked that he do nothing until she had left the respondent on the Friday as she didn’t want an awkward situation to arise. She was later told by her sister that two new staff were employed by the respondent.
PH for the respondent said that all staff received letters with their payslips on 27th January 2012 asking if anybody would consider voluntary redundancy. He said that the claimant said she was willing to apply. He typed up a letter and it was accepted on the same day. She signed everything and that was it. Asked about the two new employees he said that one girl transferred over from the shop to the deli and the second one was an agency worker. The respondent rejected that he criticised the claimants work on 31st January 2012.
The Tribunal having heard the evidence adduced determines that on the balance of probability the claimant’s evidence to be more credible. The Tribunal determines that the claimant was unfairly dismissed and deems compensation to be the most appropriate remedy. Accordingly the Tribunal awards the claimant the sum of €19,200.00 under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 To 2007. This award is made in addition to monies already received under the Redundancy Payments Acts.
The Tribunal further awards the claimant the sum of €800 under the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act, 1973 to 2005.
The Tribunal then considered an application on behalf of the respondent under the Redundancy (Redundancy Appeals Tribunal) Regulations, 1968, SI 24 of 1968 for the expenses of the expert witnesses who had attended the hearing. The Tribunal determined that no award of expenses for the expert witnesses be made.
Sealed with the Seal of the
Employment Appeals Tribunal