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Employer’s absence from Labour Court hearing costs €10,000

The Claimant appealed the decision of the WRC to dismiss his claim for unfair dismissal to the Labour Court. The Claimant was employed as a Chicken Catcher by the Respondent for 8 years before his dismissal on 7th June 2016.

The Respondent advised the Court before the hearing that they would not be in attendance but outlined their position to the Court. The Respondent had a contract with a chicken processing company to provide workers to various farms to catch chickens to be loaded into crates for processing. Following a number of complaints from farmers regarding the Claimant, they indicated to the Respondent that they no longer wanted the Claimant on their premises.

The Claimant acknowledged that in very specific circumstances, third party pressure has been found to constitute a ground justifying dismissal for the purposes of the legislation but that this was not the case in these circumstances. The Claimant issued a personal injuries claim against the Respondent in November 2015 and the Claimant submitted this as the reason for his dismissal.

The Labour Court overturned the decision of the WRC and awarded the Claimant €10,000. The Court was satisfied that the Claimant was unfairly dismissed drawing inference from the submissions of the Claimant that the dismissal was unfair in the absence of the Respondent or it’s representatives to rebut the Claimant’s contentions and justify its actions.


29th March 2019

Anne O’Connell Solicitors

Fitzwilliam Hall, Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2.


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