Martin Forde v Chanelle Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Ltd [Employment Appeals Tribunal]




Claimant(s): Ms Catherine Connolly BL, instructed by Ms. Aine Feeney Feeney Solicitors, 1st Floor, Lismoyle House, Merchants Road, Galway

Respondent(s): Mr Shane McSweeney, Solicitor, Lismoyle House, Merchants Road, Galway


Employment law - Unfair dismissal - Selection for redundancy - Health and Safety concerns - Use of skill set matrix - Whether selection process for redundancy was fair - Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts, 1973 to 2005 - Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2007.


At the outset of the hearing the respondent's representative stated that the minimum notice issue had been resolved. The claimant had only been paid one-week's pay in error. The claim under the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts 1973 to 2005 was withdrawn.


Respondent's Case:


The respondent company contended that the claimant was dismissed by way of redundancy and that the selection process was fair. The respondent company produces pharmaceutical products. The managing director (MB) gave evidence that in 2008 to 2009 the company was losing its competitiveness on the UK market and had to reduce costs. A cost saving programme was introduced. The company looked to reduce supplier costs, but also had to reduce wage costs.


The managing director asked all the company managers to assess their own areas and identify the skill sets of the employees therein. In 2009 44 employees were made redundant leaving 175 remaining. The managing director had no difficulty with the claimant's ability to carry out his job. During cross-examination the managing director agreed that the claimant was a superb employee. He could not recall selecting him to carry out an assignment with another employee on the basis that they were his two best men. He was aware that the claimant had left the company and had returned. He was not aware that he had been headhunted.


The company managers produced a matrix of skill sets. The managing director saw it after its completion. (CC) was responsible for the claimant's area but she has left the company). The managing director wasn't surprised to see that the claimant only scored a three, as he had not been in the Quality Assurance Department long. If he had scored a three in his original department he would have been surprised. The selection for redundancy was based purely on the matrix. He agreed that another employee who scored a three from the same department was still an employee.


It was the manager's decision. The managing director disputed that the claimant bringing his safety concerns to management had anything to do with his selection. He would welcome such reports.


The next witness (HD) gave evidence that she was employed as a Quality Assurance team leader and was the claimant's direct line manager. She gave evidence that the claimant had previously been employed by the respondent from 2002 until 2007. He was a good employee with experience in Quality Assurance. She was asked by the Human Resources Manager to contact the claimant with a view to offering him employment. She contacted the claimant enquiring if he would be interested in re-joining the respondent company and he replied...

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