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WRC expresses disdain in case where Employer dismissed the employee under the ‘cloak of redundancy’

The decision of Adjudicator Pat Brady in the WRC in the case of A Horticulturist v A Garden Centre clearly expressed contempt for employers seeking to disguise dismissal under the ‘cloak of redundancy’. In this case, the Complainant received a text message on January 11th 2017 while he was on paternity leave following a period of sick leave asking if he could attend a meeting on 12th January 2017. The Complainant was informed by the Respondent at the meeting that a new position of ‘Assistant Manager’ was being created and that his role was being made redundant. The Complainant asked whether there were any other roles open to him, and he was told that there were not. He was told to ‘clear out his desk’ and leave immediately.
The Adjudicator distinguished two issues that arose. The first being under the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act, 2016 which is straightforward in this case as it was agreed by both parties that the Complainant was on Paternity leave when informed that his position was the be made redundant. The Second issue is whether a genuine redundancy existed in this situation and, if so, were the correct procedures followed to effect it. The Adjudicator stated that there was a clear lack of any procedure with no proper or any notice given, a lack of a selection procedure or lack of consideration of alternatives. The Complainants complaint therefore succeeded however, the Complainant had very limited actual loss having obtained employment on a higher wage three weeks after being dismissed by the Respondent. The Adjudicator awarded four weeks’ compensation to the Complainant.

Read full case.
31st May 2018

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

www.aocsolicitors.ie

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