EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL
CLAIMS OF: CASE NO.
Adam Wal – claimant UD234/2014
Tierney Kitchens Retail Limited – respondent
UNFAIR DISMISSALS ACTS, 1977 TO 2007
ORGANISATION OF WORKING TIME ACT 1997
I certify that the Tribunal
(Division of Tribunal)
Chairman: Ms P. McGrath
Members: Mr N. Ormond
Ms E. Brezina
heard this claim at Dublin on 16th April 2015
Claimant: Mr Eamonn O’Hanrahan of O’Hanrahan & Co Solicitors,
Lexington House, 71 Ballybough Road, Fairview, Dublin 3
Respondent: In person
The claimant was paid his outstanding holiday pay before the Hearing date and the claim under the Organisation of working Time Act 1997 was withdrawn.
The Tribunal has carefully considered the evidence adduced. The claimant lodged a Workplace Relations Complaint Form on 7th February 2014 in the aftermath of the termination of his employment, which occurred on 20th December 2013.
The claimant had worked as a general operative/fitter with the respondent company, which company installed and fitted kitchen units.
The respondent purported to employ the claimant under a series of fixed term contracts which operated from month to month (or such longer periods as the respondent company deemed appropriate depending on workload).
The claimant worked 37 weeks in 2011, 49 weeks in 2012 and 48 weeks in 2012.
The claimant was a good employee and there was no difficulty between the parties until an unfortunate accident at work gave rise to tensions between the claimant and management. This accident occurred in and around July 2013. The claimant in instructing a solicitor to initiate a claim against the company’s insurance company caused some annoyance amongst the management/directors. In uncontroverted evidence the claimant alleged that a director LT in effect told him to drop the claim or find himself without a job.
The claimant did not drop his claim and when his next fixed term contract came to an end it was not renewed.
The respondent has made the case that the claimant was made redundant along with a number of other employees, but the Tribunal cannot accept that contention in the absence of any evidence that the claimant was aware that redundancies were being affected across the workforce. It is noted in particular that no redundancy payments were made either to the claimant or anyone else.
On balance the Tribunal accepts that the claimant was fired by reason of his refusal to deny his lawful entitlement to bring proceedings. The termination of his employment had nothing to do with the cessation of any purported fixed term contract and was in effect an unfair dismissal which was wholly unreasonable.
The Tribunal awards the claimant the sum of €14, 224.34 being 6 month’s salary under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2007.
Sealed with the Seal of the
Employment Appeals Tribunal