Aideen Barrett v Nicolette O'Mahony t/a Body Raze [Employment Appeals Tribunal]




Claimant: Ms Cliona Kenny, Ernest J. Cantillon & Co. Solicitors, 39 South Mall, Cork

Respondent: Frank Nyhan & Associates Solicitors, 11 Market Square, Mallow, Co. Cork


Employment law - Unfair dismissal - Fair procedures - Customer complaints - Company policy on complaints - Warning - Dismissal - Whether unfair - Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 To 2007


Summary of Evidence


The claimant took up full-time employment as a Beauty Therapist in the respondent's salon on completion of her training in 2007. Prior to this she worked part-time during two summers as well as completing her work experience with the respondent. Two other beauty therapists worked in the salon as well. The claimant had six-monthly performance reviews, which went well, and she received her pay-rises accordingly.


It was the respondent's evidence that customer complaints are to be entered into the complaints book and logged on the computer. The complaints book is kept on the counter. The respondent had to reprimand the claimant and issue her with verbal warnings on several occasions due to complaints from customers and staff. In June 2009 the respondent received the first written complaint about the claimant from a customer. The respondent showed the claimant the letter of complaint and informed her that if there are any incidents or complaints she should be informed and the complaint should be written down in the complaint book or logged on the computer. The claimant had done neither. All the other members of staff followed the complaint procedures.


According to the respondent it is important that she learns about complaints so that she can deal with the matter. The claimant's position was that she was not aware of the complaints procedures at this stage. On receipt of a complaint the claimant normally took the complaint details, tried to rectify it and then informed the respondent. She had never been informed about any staff complaints.


On 25 June 2009 the respondent wrote to the claimant re-iterating the importance of customer care, referring to her refusal to provide basic treatments to two customers and her bad service to others and stating that �€�any reoccurrence of the above kind will result in instant dismissal.�€� This letter also advised the claimant to secure her own professional insurance. The...

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