In a recent Adjudication Officer decision, it was found that a former childcare worker had been unfairly dismissed from her employment by way of redundancy and was awarded €30,000 in compensation, which was in addition to her statutory redundancy payment.
The Complainant submitted to the Adjudication Officer that she had difficulties in her employment with the Respondent Employer’s board members whom she stated constantly bullied and undermined her. In or about April 2015, the Complainant was informed by the Respondent that as the level of funds had decreased there would be a redundancy situation, in which the Complainant was the only person affected by this redundancy situation. The Complainant submitted to the Adjudication Officer that she had put forward alternatives to redundancy; in particular she offered to give up her 15 hours of management work per week, which were rejected and not considered by the Respondent. The Complainant stated further that she was told by the Respondent that they intended to advertise and fill her role following the termination of her employment and they subsequently did so.
The Respondent denied the Complainant’s allegations and submitted to the Adjudication Officer that the Complainant had taken voluntary redundancy of her volition and that they could not have done more to ensure that the Complainant wished to avail of voluntary redundancy.
The Adjudication Officer noted that the Complainant was the only employee affected by the redundancy, which supported the Complainant’s submission that the process was targeted at her. The Adjudication Officer noted further that it was clear to them that the Respondent was not willing to consider any alternatives to redundancy and that it was established at the hearing that another person had replaced the Complainant in her role, which did not support the Respondent’s contention that it was a redundancy situation.
Accordingly, the Adjudication Officer found that this was a dismissal dressed up as a redundancy. The Complainant was found to have been unfairly dismissed from her employment.
There are some times in business where you may have to consider making some or all of your employees redundant. If you want to know how to implement redundancies without running the risk of Employment Law claims from your former staff then please do not hesitate to contact me.