EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL
Bellerophon Limited T/A Griffith College
REDUNDANCY PAYMENTS ACTS, 1967 TO 2007
I certify that the Tribunal
(Division of Tribunal)
Chairman: Ms. K. O'Mahony B.L.
Members: Mr D. Hegarty
Ms H. Kelleher
heard this appeal at Cork on 6th March 2015
Appellant: In person
Respondent: Mr Dermot Casserly, Beauchamps, Solicitors, Riverside 2, Sir John Rogersons Quay, Dublin 2
The appellant claimed that her employment, which commenced on 23 September 2002, ended by reason of redundancy on 31 May 2013 and that she was entitled to a redundancy payment. The respondent contended that the claimant resigned and that her position was not redundant.
Summary of Evidence
The appellant was employed as a part-time language lecturer/ teacher on a series of fixed term contracts from 23 September 2002, initially working for the previous owner of the college and from 2005 for the respondent. In recent years she taught two strands: English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English Language. Her hours of work varied. She was paid €40.00 per hour and her gross weekly pay was averaged at €347.00 per week. The claimant worked during the college year and regarded the summer holidays as a period of lay off.
The appellant’s latest contract ended on 31 May 2013. On 27 July 2013 she sent an e-mail to the respondent’s Course Director informing her that she would be back in Cork in late August 2013 but did not receive a response. On 10 September 2013 she sent an e-mail to the Head of English Department enquiring about classes with French students as she had been informed that the number of Chinese students was very low but again did not receive a response.
On 11 September 2013 she sought an update from the Course Director, who told her on 13 September 2013 that the respondent would not be providing EAP classes for students for the coming year and teaching hours would not be available for her. The appellant indicated her interest in teaching hours in the English language school and the issue of her P45 was mentioned. On 16 September 2013 the appellant wrote to payroll requesting her P45 and an RP50. By way of response she was informed that it is only those who receive a statutory redundancy payment get an RP 50 and that it was not applicable in her case. On 17 September 2013 the head of the English informed the claimant that as there was only one class and that she herself was taking it. The appellant’s P45 was issued. The appellant understood that her position was redundant.
The appellant sought advice and again wrote to the respondent on 2 October outlining her statutory entitlements and requesting her redundancy payment. By e-mail of 8 October 2013 the respondent’s HR manager informed the appellant that it was anticipated that hours would be available for her and that therefore her position would not be made redundant. By e-mail of 11 October 2013 HR offered the claimant 15 hours teaching, to commence on 4 November 2013, at €18 per hour. In this e-mail it was also stated that there would be additional work, which could be discussed. The appellant did not consider the terms offered reasonable and on 13 November she wrote to the respondent enclosing form RP77 and requesting a redundancy payment. The respondent recruited a new lecturer in November 2013 to teach the hours which the appellant had declined. Further discussions took place on teaching hours for the appellant in the second semester but these were unsuccessful. The respondent’s position was the appellant resigned and sought her P45.
Having considered the adduced evidence and documentation on this case the Tribunal finds that the appellant’s contract was not renewed in September 2013, the usual time for renewal, as there were no teaching hours available for her in either EAP or English. Thus, her position was redundant as of then.
Section 20 of Schedule 3 of the 1967 Act provides:
“For the purposes of this Schedule, in the case of an employee who has no normal working hours, his normal weekly remuneration shall be taken to be the average weekly remuneration, including any bonus, pay allowance or commission, received by the employee concerned over the period of 52 weeks during which he was actually working immediately prior to the date on which he was declared redundant”
Accordingly, the appeal under the Redundancy Payments Acts, 1967 to 2007 is allowed and the appellant is awarded a statutory lump sum under those Acts, and based on the following:
Date of commencement: 23rd September 2002
Date of termination: 17th September 2013
Periods of lay-off, 1st June – 1st September 2011, 1st June – 1st September 2012
Non reckonable service 1st June – 1st September 2013
Gross weekly pay: €347.00
This award is made subject to the appellant having been in insurable employment under the Social Welfare Acts during the relevant period.
Sealed with the Seal of the
Employment Appeals Tribunal