Byrne v Dunnes Stores

JurisdictionIreland
CourtEmployment Appeal Tribunal (Ireland)
Judgment Date09 Aug 2004
Judgment citation (vLex)[2004] 8 JIEC 0901

Employment Appeals Tribunal

EAT: Byrne v Dunnes Stores

Representation:

Claimant:

Mr. Bill Kelly, Mandate, 36 Michael Street, Waterford

Respondent:

Mr Duncan Inverarity of BCM Hanby WaIlace Solicitors, 88 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2

Abstract:

EAT - Employment law - Unfair dismissal - Allegations of theft - Denial of theft - Fair procedures - Suspension on pay - Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts, 1973 - 2001 - Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 - 2001

EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL

CLAIM OF:

CASE NO.

Edward Byrne, 207 Elm Park, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary

UD1000/2003

MN2333/2003

against

Dunnes Stores (Oakville Ltd), Oakville, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary

under

MINIMUM NOTICE AND TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT ACTS, 1973 TO 2001 UNFAIR DISMISSALS ACTS, 1977 TO 2001

I certify that the Tribunal

(Division of Tribunal)

Chairman:

Mr L. Ó Catháin

Members:

Mr. P. O'Leary

Mr. T. Kennelly

heard this claim at Clonmel on 16 June 2004

Facts The claimant was accused of stealing cans from the grocery section of the respondents where he worked. A discipliminary hearing was convened where the claimant was not represented. Following this hearing the claimant was suspended on full pay. At the second hearing he was represented but was denied a statement taken at the first hearing. The claimant denied the theft and the respondents dismissed the claimant.

Held by the Tribunal that the respondents failed to properly investige the alledged theft and denied fair procedures to the claimant. The Tribunal awarded the claimant € 7,500 for unfair dismissal and € 440 under the

Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts.

The determination of the Tribunal was as follows:-
Respondent's Case
1

The deli manager told the Tribunal that on 10 June 2003 when he was leaving the toilet area he saw the claimant entering the toilets with drink cans under his arm. The witness stated that on seeing the cans under the claimant's arm he asked the claimant to stop, asked him where the cans were. The witness told the Tribunal that the drink cans were found on top of the cistern in the toilet cubicle. The witness stated that he reported this matter to the grocery manager, who contacted the security manager to whom the witness then gave a statement.

2

Under cross-examination the witness told the Tribunal that when he met the grocery manager immediately after the incident he told her there was no stock in the toilet cubicle thirty seconds prior to the claimant entering it The witness stated the stock was there after the claimant left the cubicle.

3

The witness told the Tribunal he attended the disciplinary hearing on 25 June 2003 and that his shop steward accompanied the claimant. The witness told the Tribunal that as the claimant entered the toilet he noticed his hand was under the opposite armpit and could see the base of the drink cans protruding. The witness stated that after a thirty-minute adjournment the grocery manager said she believed the witness, the claimant had broken the bond of trust between himself and the respondent and that he would be dismissed and his P45 issued.

4

The witness told the Tribunal he had been deli manager in Clonmel for some nine months prior to the incident and he reported to the grocery manager. The witness stated that he passed the claimant from time to time at work and they exchanged pleasantries, he denied that he did not get...

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