Church v UNICEF Ireland

CourtEmployment Appeal Tribunal (Ireland)
Judgment Date26 May 2008
Judgment citation (vLex)[2008] 5 JIEC 2601
Date26 May 2008

Employment Appeals Tribunal

EAT: Church (claimant) v UNICEF Ireland (respondent)


Employment - Unfair dismissal - Constructive dismissal– Whether the respondent's conduct and treatment of the claimant was such as to justify her decision to resign from her position– Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2001




CLAIM OF: . Orla Church, 113 Elm Mount Avenue, Beaumont, Dublin 9


UNICEF Ireland, 25-26 Great Strand Street, Dublin 1



I certify that the Tribunal

(Division of Tribunal)


Mr M. O'Connell B.L.


Mr. D. Winston

Mr G. Whyte

heard this claim at Dublin on 28th February 2008 and 26th May 2008.

Facts The claimant gave evidence that in August 2006 difficulties arose between herself and two work colleagues and she felt excluded. The claimant attended several meeting with the Executive Director of the respondent, wherein she outlined her difficulties and the Executive Director advised her of complaints made about her by fellow employees and discussed her poor punctuality with her. The claimant failed to attend a meeting in May 2007 with the Executive Director as she had decided she had no future with the company. Subsequently, on 13 June 2007 she submitted a letter of resignation. The claimant stated that she resigned because she was suffering high levels of stress. The claimant commenced a new job shortly after leaving the respondent company. The Deputy Director of the respondent gave evidence that the claimant's allegations regarding fellow employees were taken very seriously and were investigated. The allegations were not upheld following the investigation.

Held by the Tribunal in dismissing the claim: That the treatment of the claimant, although deficient, did not amount to mistreatment such as would justify her resignation form her position. In any event, the claimant failed to establish any loss.

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

The claimant gave evidence of commencing employment on the 20th February 2006. She was employed as a Greeting Cards & Gift Co-Ordinator. There were a lot of different aspects to her job. She worked independently with some assistance. She had responsibility for stocktaking, organising catalogues, populating the company's website, dealing with Geneva. She liaised with the website designer and reported to her line manager.


In July/August of 2006 difficulties arose between herself and two work colleagues. These were fairly petty difficulties, but she found their behaviour was unpleasant. She felt excluded.


On the 21st September 2006 the claimant had a conversation with a colleague concerning coverage of the Greeting Cards & Gifts campaign on the website. The campaign ran from September to December. She felt a banner advertisement should be placed at the top of the website. The coverage mentioned for the website was one week only and the claimant felt this was insufficient. Funding was forthcoming from Geneva. Following this discussion she contacted her line manager and requested a meeting.


On the 22nd September 2006 the claimant was called into a meeting with her line manager and the Executive Director of the company. The claimant outlined how she felt undermined and excluded at work. The Executive Director informed her that two employees had complained about her aggressive behaviour. It was suggested that the claimant had delegated work. The claimant disagreed. It was also suggested that she influenced the Accountant about taking a day off. Four to five days after that meeting the claimant had a positive discussion with the Executive Director. She asked the Executive Director if she should put something in writing about her difficulties to her and she was advised to do so.


A further meeting took place on the 5th October 2006 at the Executive Director's...

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