EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL
CLAIM OF: CASE NO.
Ann Agar - claimant UD1615/2012
Ctrack Ireland Limited
Ctrack Ireland Ltd
UNFAIR DISMISSALS ACTS, 1977 TO 2007
I certify that the Tribunal
(Division of Tribunal)
Chairman: Ms O. Madden B.L.
Members: Mr. R. Murphy
Mr. F. Barry
heard this claim at Dublin on 13th January 2014 and 25th July 2014.
Claimant: Mr Warren Parkes, Warren Parkes Solicitors, Suite 317, The
Capel Building, Mary's Abbey, Dublin 7
Respondent: Mr. Eugene Smartt, Solicitor, Newlands Retail Centre,
Newlands Cross, Clondalkin, Dublin 22
The determination of the Tribunal was as follows:
In September 2010 the respondent bought the assets of a company (M) which went into liquidation. The respondent provides software solutions. It is an Irish owned entity and part of a worldwide group. The claimant had worked for company M. She commenced employment on 1st September 2010 some weeks after company M closed down. Her duties included interfacing with customers and prospective customers and assisted the Service Manager. From time to time she carried out other duties assigned to her.
CS is Sales Manager. The claimant’s role was Service Help Desk Administrator and she reported to POC, Service Manager.
From April 2011 the company began to lose €30,000 per month and lost a lot of customers. The workforce composed of CS, the Financial Accountant, three engineers and the claimant.
Also in April 2011 the claimant went on maternity leave and her role was absorbed into the Service Department. The frequency of the telephone calls to the department had diminished around this time. The workload of the Engineers had reduced.
Head office had requested that the Service Department be cut around this time also. The reduction was resisted and CS was given six months to try and improve the situation. There was a weakness in the sales area.
In July 2011 an engineer was made redundant. The company’s business model changed from leasing to rental hire and credit could not be given to customers.
Together with the financial controller CS a decision was made to recruit a sales person. The son in law (JO) of the financial accountant was interviewed for the position. He had a sales background and was proficient in excel, desk top publishing and PowerPoint. He was successful and commenced employment in August 2011. His role entailed tendering. He spent 10% of his time doing the claimant’s role.
The claimant returned from maternity leave in December 2011 and carried out duties as assigned to her. In March 2012 CS drew up a draft skills matrix and staff were asked to complete and also to identify training needs and to suggest any additions or alterations.
The respondent struggled to break even in May/June 2012. CS looked across the board and there was still a requirement for administrative and tendering work.
CS met the claimant on 1st June 2012 to advise her that her job was identified as being at risk of redundancy and that it was possible that her employment might be terminated as a consequence. Following an accident the claimant was absent on a period of sick leave. While the claimant was absent on sick leave CS invited the claimant to a consultation meeting on 15th June 2012 to discuss matters further. As the claimant could not attend this meeting CS proposed a further meeting on 22nd June 2012. The claimant was unable to attend this meeting also. During this time CS kept in touch with the claimant by text messages.
A decision was made to make the claimant’s role redundant. No alternatives were found for the claimant. There was not sufficient work available in the service area.
The claimant was made redundant on 20th July 2012.
The service administrator role is now being carried out by the service manager.
Resumed hearing 25th July 2014:
The Tribunal heard evidence from the claimant. She was first notified on 01st June of the situation. She was told that her position was under threat and more than likely to be made redundant. CS told her that redundancies had to be made and that he had looked at all the positions and that unfortunately her position had to be made redundant.
Correspondence opened to the Tribunal:
“Further to our meeting on June 1st you asked me to come back to you with suggestions on what I could ns on what I think I could do Within the company if in fact my position was to be terminated.
I feel that as I have been in the business for over 7 years and have done varies different jobs and that I am still very capable of taking on any task and certainly if there was anything new that came up within the company that I should have had first refusal more so than that of someone that had only joined the company and still has no signed contract or job title and would have to get trained in on every aspect of the business………………….”
The claimant explained that CS did not revert to her. There were no discussions regarding the redundancy, the decision was made. As far as she knew no one was exploring alternatives.
Regarding JO, he had been given training on new products that had arrived when she had been on maternity leave. She had not been given training on the new products and she felt that she should have been.
Regarding tenders she was never asked to do tenders and she felt if she was shown how to do tenders that she could have done them to one hundred per cent ( of her ability). She would have done anything to keep her job. She felt that JO was kept on because he was related to someone in the respondent.
Having considered the evidence adduced the Tribunal accepts that a redundancy situation existed. However despite this fair procedures were not completely followed. In all the circumstances the Tribunal are not satisfied that the requirements under the Redundancy Payments Acts for fair selection in this instance were met to their fullest. In those circumstances the Tribunal award compensation, as being the most appropriate remedy, the sum of €4,200.00, under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2007.
Sealed with the Seal of the
Employment Appeals Tribunal