Case Number: ADJ-00011306. Workplace Relations Commission

Docket NumberADJ-00011306
Hearing Date20 March 2018
Date01 July 2018
CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
PartiesBeauty Therapist v Beauty Clinic
RespondentA Beauty Clinic


Adjudication Reference: ADJ-00011306




Anonymised Parties

A Beauty Therapist

A Beauty Clinic



Complaint/Dispute Reference No.

Date of Receipt

Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under Section 8 of the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977



Date of Adjudication Hearing: 20/03/2018

Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Michael McEntee


In accordance with Section 8 of the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 - 2015, 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).

An issue arose post the initial Hearing regarding the calling of witnesses which had the unfortunate consequence of delaying the Adjudication Decision / Recommendation.


The dispute concerns a Beauty Therapist who alleges that she was unfairly dismissed by a Beauty Clinic.

1: Summary of Complainant’s Case:

The Complainant commenced employment in 2009 on a 5 day a week basis. On the 19th May 2017 the Respondent told the Complainant that she was “giving up the business” but on the 29th May indicated that she had changed her mind and was continuing with the business. On the 30th May the Complainant was informed that her working hours were being reduced to two days a week. A Verbal Warning was issued to the Complainant regarding her alleged behaviour at work and the alleged inappropriate use of a mobile phone. The Complainant went on Sick leave from the 6th June until the 3rd October 2017. She returned to work and worked for a period of two weeks in a hostile and stressful situation. On the 18th October, the Respondent dismissed her for her alleged bad behaviour with clients in the previous two weeks. No warning was given and no appeal offered.

2: Summary of Respondent’s Case:

The dismissal is not in doubt. The Complainant worked as a good member of the team from 2009 until early 2017. Relationships deteriorated and the Complainant actively spread malicious rumours about the Respondent and discouraged potential and existing clients from attending for beauty appointments. The Complainant was in the habit of using her mobile phone to video/voice record the Respondent in the course of her business -this was a complete breach of privacy.

On the 31st May 2017 it was necessary to issue the Complainant with a Verbal Warning which she refused to sign or acknowledge. As the Respondent business was suffering from the situation it was necessary to put the Complainant on a two-day week commencing in June 2017. The Complainant went out sick shortly afterwards,

After a period of some four moths sick leave the Complainant returned to work in October. Relationships continued to deteriorate and the Respondent was left with no option but to dismiss the Complainant.

The Respondent produced considerable written evidence and a number of signed witness statements in support of her position.

3: Findings and Conclusions:

3:1 The Law

Unfair dismissals act 1977 and SI 146 of 2000 -Code of Practice on Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures. Considerable case law was advanced by the Respondent in regard to the overcoming of procedural flaws in a Dismissal were the evidence was overwhelming in favour of the Respondent.

3:2 The Evidence

This case and the Oral Hearing was marked by a high degree of animosity between the parties. In the Oral Evidence of the Complainant it was maintained that the Respondent had initially offer to transfer/sell the Saloon to the Complainant. The Complainant alleged that she had incurred expenditures in the anticipation of taking over the business. When the Respondent withdrew the Transfer/Sale offer considerable bitterness appear to have entered the employment relationship. There could be no doubt that discussions had taken place between the parties regarding future ownership of the business but the Respondent was entitled to have a change of mind, inconvenient and irritating, as this may have been to the Complainant

It appeared that this issue and the dispute between the Parties had become quite a well know public issue in the local area. Clients were being directly impacted, made uneasy about patronising the saloon and the business was not trading as well as before. Clients were being contacted outside of the business and efforts were made to persuade them from using the services of the Respondent.

It was at this stage (Late May to early June) that considerable conflict of evidence became apparent. Signed Written Statements from Ms. XA -a lady who shared the physical business building but operated a separate Hairdressing Salon clearly stated that the behaviour of the Complainant was aggressive to the Respondent. The Complainant’s use of the recording facility on her mobile phone was clearly intimidatory to the Respondent. Other signed witness evidence was presented that basically supported the views of Ms.XA.

There was a high degree of anxiety regarding the impact on both the adjoining business (on behalf of Ms. XA) on the likely return of the Complainant from the long period of Sick leave in October. Again, things did not work out and the decision was made to end the Complainant’s employment.

It was vigorously stated by the Complainant that the written evidence from Ms. XA and the other witnesses had been fabricated and were no more than a tissue of lies orchestrated by the Respondent in support of her position. This argument I could not accept -the signed written evidence was very...

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