Drumm v Electricity Supply Board [EAT]



CASE NO. UD417/2011




Jackie Drumm, Carbery House, Hartlands Avenue, Cork
Electricity Supply Board, 27 Lower Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2

Claimant: Ms Rachel O'Flynn B L instructed by Ms. Fionnuala Breen-Walsh, O'Donnell Breen-Walsh O'Donoghue, Solicitors, Trinity House, 8 Georges Quay, Cork

Respondent: Mr Cathal McGreal B L instructed by BSC Legal, ESB, 27 Lower Fitzwilliam St, Dublin 2


The determination of the Tribunal was as follows:

Claimant's Case

The claimant who commenced employment with the respondent in 2000 was employed as a clerical officer at its call centre in Cork. By 2009 she was working twenty-five hours over a five-day week. From May of that year and for the following twelve months she was absent from work on a combination of maternity and unpaid leave. The latter was arranged and agreed with her employer by way of a telephone conversation only. In May 2010 she started making enquires about any outstanding holidays she might have and also sought a date for her return to the workplace. The person she was dealing with at the time transferred elsewhere during that process. No definitive arrangement was reached or written correspondence entered into as part of that interaction.


From that time onwards and in the absence of further communication from the respondent the claimant stayed away from the workplace on the assumption she was now on "holidays". She believed that she could remain absent from work based on her outstanding entitlements under an annual leave arrangement. Her point of contact within the respondent changed to her team leader and the claimant again asked for a return to work date. Such a date was still not given by 28/29 July 2010.


While preparing to go overseas on a family holiday at that time the claimant received a telephone call from her team leader. That call centred around her return to work situation. Her team leader told her she was due back to work the following week. The claimant explained she was about to go away for a week would address this issue upon her return. She also told her team leader that due to child minding issues she was not in a position to return immediately to work when that overseas trip expired. She neither uttered the word resignation nor gave any indication to the caller that she...

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