Kelly v Kayfoam Woolfson

CourtEmployment Appeal Tribunal (Ireland)
Judgment Date14 February 1999
Judgment citation (vLex)[1999] 2 JIEC 1401
Date14 February 1999

Employment Appeals Tribunal

Kelly v Kayfoam Woolfson



Ms. Cindy Carroll, B.L., instructed by James A. Sheridan & Co., Solicitors, The Mall, Riverside Way, Midleton, Co. Cork


Mr. Peter D.R. Murphy, I B E C, Confederation House, 84/86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2


Dismissal - Claimant working on own business in company time - Whether he was permitted to do so - Whether there was a conflict of interest - Misconduct - Suspension - Investigation


CASE NO. UD202/98

CLAIM OF: David Kelly, The Gables, Church Road, Ballinadurra, Co Cork


Kayfoam Woolfson, Little Island Industrial Estate, Cork under


I certify that the Tribunal

(Division of Tribunal)

Chairman: Ms. K.T. O'Mahony B.L.

Members: Mr. P. Harrington

Mr M. Crowe

heard this claim at Cork on 30th July 1998

and 3rd December 1998

The employer was in the business of manufacture and selling beds and sofa beds. They were aware that the claimant had his own upholstery business at the time he was employed. The company had strict rules against employees working for themselves on company time. The onus was on the employee to ensure that was adherred to. It came to the notice of the respondent that there was abuse of this rule by the claimant. respondent suspended the claimant while investigating the incident and discovered the abuse was more widespread than at first thought. Claimant dismissed for gross misconduct. The Tribunal determined there was a conflict of evidence on whether the claimant was entitled to work on his own business during company time or on company premises in his own time. On reviewing allthe evidence the Tribunal determined that the dismissal was fair.

The determination of the Tribunal was as follows:—
Respondent's Case:

The respondent company manufactures and sells beds and sofa—beds. The claimant was employees production manager by the respondent from February 1996. The claimant advised-the respondent-that he ran his own upholstery, business but this did not cause any- problem for the respondent, provided that company work was given priority and he was to avoid a conflict of interest between the two. There had been a number of incidents of pilferage in the Cork company between 1981 to 1996 which resulted in dismissals so the respondent had a clear policy on the use of its materials, resources and time.


-On 29th September 1997 Aidan Dillon, General Manger, and Dan Linehan observed the claimant working for himself, upholstering a pouffe, on company time. Mr. Dillon informed Mr. Saul Woolfson,. the Group Personnel Manager, who told him to make enquiries. On making enquiries Mr. Dillon was led to believe that the claimant was involved in irregularities. He had a short meeting with the claimant on 1st October...

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