A complaint was filed for unfair dismissal when an employee’s wish to revoke his retirement letter was denied.
The former employee first made his intention to retire known by letter on the 16th of December, 2015. The respondent claims that there was never any ambiguity in regard to the complainant’s wishes; however six additional letters were sent amending the complainant’s retirement date. Each alternative date was quite close to the last.The necessary arrangements had been made following each letter; including work in relation to pension and lump sum calculations, annual leave entitlements and formal processing to effect retirement. The complainant confirmed that there would be no further changes to his retirement date following the fourth letter. This was not the case, and further correspondence again confirmed various retirement dates. Subsequently, the complainant’s solicitor confirmed that he wished to revoke his letter of resignation altogether.
It was the respondent’s position that the complainant’s voluntary retirement was neither unfair nor a dismissal. It was therefore submitted that the claim was invalid. Furthermore, the letter stating the complainant did not ‘wish to terminate his contract with his employer’ was received nearly a week after he had received both lump sum and pension payments.
It was submitted on the complainant’s behalf that he had retired at a time of stress. The complainant believed his regret to be reasonable and it was therefore submitted that his request to withdraw from retirement was justified.
It was decided that the respondent had made reasonable effort to accommodate the complainant’s wishes, and had made amendments to his retirement date on several occasions. The Adjudication Officer noted the complainant’s failure to provide his former employer with any reason to renege on retirement.
No dismissal had occurred to fulfil the purposes of the Unfair Dismissals Acts, and the complaint was therefore deemed not well-founded.