Case Number: ADJ-00000390. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Docket NumberADJ-00000390
Date01 March 2016
PartiesAn Employee -v- An Employer

In accordance with Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 and Section 8(1B) of the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977, following the referral of the complaint(s)/dispute(s) to me by the Director General, I inquired into the complaint(s)/dispute(s) and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the complaint(s)/dispute(s).

Complainant’s Submission and Presentation:

December 2014 my Mother who lives in Spain became very ill. On or around 21st of December 2014 went to Spain. I got permission from the US 1 Co-ordinator (USC) to take unpaid leave. I went to Spain. In January 2015 I rang USC to say my Mother was still ill and I hoped to take her to her native home of the Philippines. She said fine take your time and look after it. I had brought my mother to the Philippines and she had passed away on 16th of January 2015. On the 23rd of January (or perhaps 24th) I rang and Spoke with my Assistant Manager. Told her about my Mothers death and that I had to administer her estate. Again there was no problem. Towards end of May 2015 USC told me I should contact HR to update them on my situation. In May and early June 2015 phoned HR a few times and left messages on their answering machine as there is a time difference and I couldn’t get the person in HR. In June 2015 I spoke with assistant Manager in HR (SHRS) (around the 18th of June 2015). She said that I had to decide and inform them when I was coming back as otherwise they would have to terminate my contract. I told her that I would book a ticket to come home and tell her the date. I phoned her the following day. She asked for my email address and I told her to use my nephews email address. She then sent me an e mail on 26th of June 2015 attaching my P45 terminating my employment. This was the first I had known that my employment was to be terminated. I had been told only that I had given them a date for my return which I had agreed to do once I had the ticket purchased and an exact time. The earliest return flight was the 3rd of July 2015 which I did get and returned on the 4th of July 2015 and went straight from Airport to the Company. They set up a meeting on Monday and they confirmed I was dismissed. I asked them could it be reconsidered and they said no, I was dismissed and that was that. That meeting was attended by manager of HR (HRM) and SHRS.

The Complainant's representative submitted the following in support of his claim that he was unfairly dismissed:

  1. The Complainant was not notified that his employment was terminated prior to 5 June 2015. However, it was contended that the employer behaved internally as if it had been terminated without having informed the Complainant.

  1. While accepting that the Respondent may have had various internal emails and phone calls in relation to the Complainant's employment status, nothing had been clearly communicated to him (the Complainant). It was contended on the Complainant's behalf that if the situation in relation to his employment status had been communicated to him, he would have had sufficient notice that his leave was no longer authorised. It was further contended that as he was not given...

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