EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL
CLAIM(S) OF: CASE NO.
Jacinta Oman – claimant UD998/2013
Dunboyne Hair & Beauty Studio – respondent
UNFAIR DISMISSALS ACTS, 1977 TO 2007
I certify that the Tribunal
(Division of Tribunal)
Chairman: Mr R. Maguire, B.L.
Members: Mr E. Handley
Mr N. Dowling
heard this claim at Trim on 5th June 2014
Claimant(s): In person
Respondent(s): Mr John Waters
6 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2
The determination of the Tribunal was as follows:-
This was a case of alleged constructive dismissal.
Summary of Claimant’s Case:
The claimant was employed as a part-time receptionist at a hairdressing salon. She began her employment in May 2008. She gave evidence that she and her daughter, with her grandson, went to the salon on Saturday 6th July 2013 to get their hair done in advance of her grandson’s christening. The claimant felt that the stylist doing her hair was very quiet and this was not her normal behaviour. She questioned the stylist doing her daughter’s hair who told her that that the claimant had supposedly been ‘talking behind their backs’ to the salon owner’s husband at the day out on the previous Sunday. The claimant denied this. The stylist said that three of the staff had been called in by the owner to discuss the issue during the week. The claimant approached the manager who said she had not called her about it as she did not want to upset the claimant coming up to her grandson’s christening. The claimant said to the manager that she was so upset she felt like resigning. She left the salon but phoned back and again spoke to the manager. She said she felt like resigning but that she would use her leave for the following weekend. She phoned the owner but did not get an answer. There was much dispute over who said what and who was in the immediate vicinity of the conversations in the salon.
The owner phoned the claimant the following Monday but the conversation became heated. The claimant asked for a meeting to ‘thrash it out’. After that phone call they communicated through text messages. The owner texted the claimant and said she accepted the claimant’s resignation. The claimant responded that she had not resigned. Later that week she received her holiday pay and P45 in the post.
The claimant’s partner went to the salon after the claimant left that morning and spoke to the manager at the back of the salon. He went to find out what had happened as the claimant was very upset when she phoned him. He denied shouting or being threatening in manner towards the manager.
Summary of Respondent’s Case:
Two stylists gave evidence that the claimant said she was ‘handing in her notice’ on the day she was in the salon. The manager gave evidence that the conversation had been social and it was only when the claimant phoned afterwards that she said she was handing in her notice. The claimant said she was upset that the girls thought she had been talking about them. The manager told her to forget about it and that they would talk on Monday but the claimant asked her to tell the owner she was taking her leave the following week and then finishing.
After the claimant left the claimant’s partner arrived approximately 45 minutes later. He pointed at her and asked to speak to her in the staff room. He said she had ruined the claimant’s day which she denied. He made a comment about her and left out the back door. She felt very nervous about the incident.
The owner gave evidence. She was away for a few days at the time of the incident. She had 19 missed calls and messages from various people including the claimant’s partner. Girls in the salon had phoned as they were fearful for the manager when the claimant’s partner was there. She spoke with the manager who was very upset. She was told that the claimant had handed in her notice. She was concerned for the safety of the girls in the salon. For their safety she was happy not to have anything more to do with the claimant or her partner in the salon. She wrote to accept her resignation. She spoke to the Gardaí about taking it further but it was up to the manager to prosecute.
Having heard all the evidence the Tribunal finds that the employer did not act reasonably in all the circumstances. Even if there was a resignation on Saturday 6th July 2013 relayed verbally to the manager of the salon the employer should have allowed a period of cooling off and acted reasonably when the employee signalled clear intent two days later to continue working for the respondent. Accordingly, the Tribunal awards the claimant €2,700 (two thousand seven hundred euro) compensation under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2007.
Sealed with the Seal of the
Employment Appeals Tribunal