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Acceptance of reactive resignation held to be dismissal

The recent WRC decision in the case of A Worker v Food Service Provider seen the Complainant receive an award for financial loss as her employer did not afford her an opportunity to recant her resignation after a “heat of the moment” dispute.

Summary of case
The Complainant was employed as a chef by the Respondent since December 2009 to August 2016. The Complainant submitted that she had ongoing difficulties with fellow employees that culminated in her quitting her job on 23rd August 2016. The Complainant set out her account of exchanges she had with the Head Chef on 23rd August 2016 in which she submitted that she told him she was going on holidays and when he refused, she quit. The Respondent submitted that the Complainant had made no previous complaints to the manager regarding any of her employees. The Respondent also submitted that the grievance procedure was clearly visible in the manager’s office and a photograph of its location was submitted into evidence.

The Complainant took three separate claims against the Respondent and the Adjudicator made a decision on each.
Firstly, the Complainant submitted that she had never received any terms and conditions of employment. The Adjudicator was satisfied that on the balance of probabilities that the respondent did not comply with their obligations in this regard and awarded €600 compensation to the Complainant.

Secondly, the Complainant made a complaint of constructive dismissal. This complaint failed as the Complainant did not give the Respondent any opportunity to address her grievances in relation to the Head Chef.

Finally, the Adjudicator awarded the Complainant compensation for Unfair Dismissal. The Adjudicator did take into account the fact that the Complainant did contribute to her own dismissal by reacting in the heat of the moment however, she stated that a reasonable employer would have afforded an employee an opportunity through a formal meeting with representation to set out her version of events and potentially recant the resignation. The Complainants financial loss was €1,680 but compensation was limited to €800 as a result of her contributory actions.

For any queries, please contact Anne O’Connell Solicitors at info@aocsolicitor.ie or +353 1 2903580
28th August 2017

Anne O’Connell
1-3 Burton Hall Road
Dublin 18

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