Sweeney v Hamill, Spence and O’Connell

JurisdictionIreland
CourtEmployment Appeal Tribunal (Ireland)
Judgment Date20 Feb 2003
Judgment citation (vLex)[2003] 2 JIEC 2001

Employment Appeals Tribunal

EAT: Sweeney v Hamill, Spence and O'Connell

Representation:

Claimant:

Mr Michael Mc Namee B.L. instructed by Mr Peter N. Quinn, Sheridan Quinn, Solicitors, 29 Upper

Mount Street, Dublin 2

Respondent:

Mr. Paul Fogarty B.L. instructed by Mr. Joseph Hanley, Hanley & Lynch, Solicitors,

24 Clonskeagh Road, Dublin 6

Abstract:

Employment law - EAT - Unfair dismissal - Fair procedures - Whether employee unfairly dismissed - Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977 to 2001.

EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL

CASE NO.

UD78 1/2002

CLAIM OF:

Vanessa Sweeney, 168 Shanganagh Cliffs, Shankill, Co.

Dublin

against

Hamill Spence & O'Connell Accountants, Adelaide House, 90 Upper Georges Street, Dublin 2

under

UNFAIR DISMISSALS ACTS, 1977 TO 2001

I certify that the Tribunal

(Division of Tribunal)

Chairman:

Mr D. Hayes B.L.

Members:

Mr. D. Winston MrC. Ryan

heard this claim at Dublin on 3rd January 2003

Facts The claimant brought a claim for unfair dismissal against her former employer (the respondent). The respondent contended that the claimant had had failed to cover the receptionist's work breaks which was part of her contract. In addition it was contended that there were problems with the claimant's sick leave. The claimant contended that she had always covered reception and that she had not received any written warnings. In addition the claimant submitted that she had always obtained a medical certificate if absent for more than two days.

Held by the Employment Appeals Tribunal in awarding Eur4,800 Euro to the claimant. The claimant was unfairly dismissed as there had been a lack of fair procedures. No opportunity had been given to the claimant to be heard.

The determination of the Tribunal was as follows: -
Respondent's case:
1

The Tribunal heard from a Partner (hereafter P I or witness) with the respondent. This witness was in charge of administration and personnel functions. This witness explained that the claimant began working for the respondent on a temporary basis. In April 2001 she began working on a permanent basis. The claimant's work was as an administrative assistant in the financial services area helping the partner in charge of this area.

2

The witness stated that it was part of the claimant contract to “cover” the receptionist's work breaks. The receptionist worked alone and the switchboard at reception was very busy. He stated that it was vital that the...

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