Jean McCarthy v Anne Lappin T/A Carrigdhoun dry Cleaners [Employment Appeals Tribunal]




Claimant: Mr. Fachtna O'Driscoll, Fachtna O'Driscoll Solicitors, 9 South Mall, Cork

Respondent: Mr. Frank Lappin, Legion House, Church Bay Road, Crosshaven, Co. Cork


Employment law - Unfair dismissal - Absenteeism - Notice of absence - Medical certificates - Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment 1973 - 2005


The determination of the Tribunal was as follows:


At the outset the respondent consented to the addition of a claim under the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts, 1973 to 2005. The claim under the Redundancy Payments Acts, 1967 to 2007 was withdrawn.


The claimant was employed in the respondent's dry cleaning business from October 2004. Initially the claimant worked on a full-time basis but from some time in 2008 the claimant was working part-time 17.5 hours, five mornings a week. The respondent has two other employees and the respondent also works in the shop. The employment was uneventful until 2009 when the claimant was absent for twelve days in the period January to August 2009. The respondent's position is that they only got short notice of the absences typically by text and that this meant the roster constantly having to be changed. The claimant's position is that the majority of the absences were planned and notified well in advance. It is common case that in July 2009 the claimant told the respondent that she had received an electric shock from a drying machine. The claimant's position is that when she reported this incident the respondent called her a "stupid girl".


The claimant was out sick for the week from 7 to 11 September 2009. The contract issued to the claimant at the start of the employment provides "The first 4 days of any sick leave count as annual leave. Time taken off after that will be unpaid." Despite this provision the respondent agreed to pay the claimant for the week she had been out sick. She was asked to provide a medical certificate on her return to work on 14 September 2009, this had not been provided by Friday 18 September 2009 the last day the claimant worked in the shop.


On that morning the claimant parked her car in a parking space outside an adjoining business to the respondent's. The respondent, who was in the vicinity, phoned the claimant and asked her to move her car on to the street as the adjoining business proprietor (BP)...

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