The claimant whose evidence was uncontested at the EAT hearing had worked in the hotel for 20 years before being dismissed and outlined that the workplace had changed following a change of ownership and caused her stress. She was accused of bullying by a staff member after a brief altercation but there was no investigation carried out and she was not given details of the complaint or an opportunity to defend herself. Instead she was presented with a list of complaints in her dismissal letter.
The EAT found that the claimant was unfairly dismissed and awarded €20,000 under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 - 2007 as well as €3,400 under the Minimum Notice Acts 1973 - 2005.
Lessons For Employers
Even if the allegations raised against the claimant had been valid, without offering due process and the opportunity to respond, a dismissal will always be deemed unfair and it is critical that a thorough investigation and disciplinary procedure is followed in these circumstances.