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Workplace Investigation Not Up To Standard

This recent WRC decision highlighted the importance of a robust investigation stage that is not predetermined, when a betting shop manager from a retail and online gaming operation, was awarded almost €11k after being unfairly dismissed due to a number of procedural flaws in both the investigation and disciplinary stages. (Ref ADJ-00026144)

Dismissal For Refusal To Wear a Face Mask

Whilst this is a decision of the UK Employment Tribunal, which upheld the summary dismissal of a lorry driver who refused to wear a face mask on a client site, it may provide some indication of how a similar case would be dealt with in the WRC. (Kubilius -v- Kent Food (Case Number: 3201960/2020)

Right To Work Remotely

With Google recently announcing plans for a fast tracked and earlier return to the office for its employees in the US, having previously being one of the first large tech Companies to go remote last year, many other employers are also now advanced with their planning on how they are going to manage this transition back to the office, and particularly how they will deal with employees who do not want to return. A WRC decision earlier this year may be of interest (Ref ADJ-00028293).

Failure to Investigate Complaint

A successful appeal to the Labour Court for a constructive dismissal claim resulted in the Adjudication Officer's decision being overturned and compensation of €10,000 being awarded to a former Training Co-Ordinator/Instructor who had been employed by the Rehab Group for 17 years before she resigned in 2018 due to the behaviour of a colleague. (Ref UDD2026)

Probationary Period Perils

The recent High Court case of Donal O'Donovan v Over-C Technology [2020] IEHC 291 was a stark reminder about the potential problems of not using contractual probatioanry period provisions correctly, when dismissing employees during their probatioanry period.

Redundancy Selection Matrix

With redundancy activity unfortunately an inevitable consequence of COVID 19, as a number of businesses are unable to re-open or are now operating with fewer employees, it is critical that the redundancy process is managed in line with legislation and best HR practice to ensure that additional costs do not arise for employers for unfair dismissal claims due to unfair selection for redundancy.

Constructive Dismissal

Some useful lessons from this recent case in which a Solicitor was awarded €13,300 after her grievances were not dealt with properly by her new employer and she successfully claimed constructive dismissal.

€55k Awarded To Director of Marketing For Discrimination On Grounds of Gender

The Complainant has been employed for almost four years before made redundant without notice, and 14 days after informing her employer that she was pregnant. The Complainant contended that she had been discriminated against on gender and family status grounds and had been dismissed by means of redundancy due to her pregnancy.

Redundancy Cases

Despite current skills shortages and employment figures being close to full employment, redundancy related complaints still arise and two recent decision by the Labour Court and WRC, are an useful reminder for the need to apply correct and fair selection criteria and processes, when making employees redundant.

Forced Retirement Was Discrimination on Grounds of Age

Another recent case dealing with the issue of the forced retirement of a legal secretary who had 40 years service, once again highlights the difficulties that employers face in implementing retirements, when they have not established a fixed retirement age, on objective grounds, either contractually or through custom and practice (Ref ADJ - 00016645).

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