In a recent Irish Employment Appeals Tribunal case the Tribunal had to consider whether the Claimant had been constructively dismissed.

The Claimant was an employee of the Respondent Company having commenced initially in 2007 as an apprentice and thereafter continuing on in the employment until August 2014.

The Claimant claimed the owner (Respondent) was difficult to work for and the Respondent’s position was that the Claimant had to be carefully watched. An issue arose regarding a voltage meter which the Respondent alleged the Claimant stole from him. It was claimed that the Claimant received a phone call from the Respondent asking him to sign a statement that he was leaving the employment, to return his overalls and the voltage meter. The Claimant attended the workplace on the 22 August 2014 where he claimed the Respondent called him a thief, but which the Respondent denied saying. The Claimant was requested to sign a piece of paper confirming he was resigning from the employment, which the Claimant told the Tribunal he did so because of his stressed state.

The Tribunal noted that the Claimant had left the employment on previous occasions only to return a few days later and surmised that it would have been the same on this occasion but for the issue of the meter. The Tribunal held the view that the Respondent’s failure to investigate or discuss the matter of the missing meter was fatal to his case/defence. The Tribunal found in favour of the Claimant noting that it was reasonable for the Claimant to terminate his employment on the 22 August 2014. The Claimant was awarded €22,000 in compensation.