Howard v Health Service Executive West

CourtEmployment Appeal Tribunal (Ireland)
Judgment Date12 May 2008
Judgment citation (vLex)[2008] 5 JIEC 1203
Date12 May 2008

Employment Appeals Tribunal

EAT: Howard (claimant) v HSE West (respondent)


Employment law - Constructive dismissal - Investigation - Whether the claimant was justified in resigning and claiming constructive dismissal having regard to her treatment by the respondent - Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2001




Eileen Howard, 37 Victoria Court, Cusack Road, Ennis,


Co. Clare


H.S.E. West, 31/33 Catherine Street, Limerick



I certify that the Tribunal

(Division of Tribunal)

Chairman: Mr P. Hurley

Members: Mr. J. Redmond

Dr. A. Clune

heard this claim at Ennis on 12th May 2008

Facts The claimant gave evidence that her line manager was Ms D and Mr N was D's line manager. The claimant reported to both those individuals. Towards the end of 2004 the claimant encountered difficulties with Ms D, which she reported to Mr N. A mediator was appointed and met with the parties involved. The claimant requested a transfer. Ms D met with other staff members and advised them of her difficulties with the claimant and stated that the claimant had been transferred. The claimant was upset as she felt that disclosure by Ms D implied that she was guilty of some misdemeanour. She felt isolated and only returned to work on the basis that a letter would be sent by Mr N to staff advising that she had not been guilty of a misdemeanour. However, that letter was never sent. The claimant made a complaint later in the year and H was appointed as an independent investigator. H suggested to her that she resign as the respondent would never admit to bullying. The claimant supplied a list of names of people she wanted interviewed by H. The claimant believed H should have recommended that she be transferred. The respondent gave evidence.

Held by the Tribunal in allowing the claim and awarding the claimant compensation in the sum of €80,000: That the inclusion in the investigation of separate issues displayed a bias which led to the imparting and abandonment of fair procedures to the detriment of the claimant.


The case before the Tribunal is one of constructive dismissal.


The representative for the Claimant opening: the Claimant made a complaint against two employees (D and S) who were her line manger and a more senior line manager. The Respondent appointed an independent investigator (H). The representative explained that part of the Claimant's case is that the Respondent, by far exceeded the scope (remit) of the investigation. Reference to Book C page sixteen indent 2:


The Claimant met N on four occasions between November and December 2005 and became more hostile as the meetings progressed. The first meeting was on 01st November, the second and third on 14th and 17th November, the last on 07th December.


The Claimant...

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