Thorne v Midland Construction & Engineering

JurisdictionIreland
CourtEmployment Appeal Tribunal (Ireland)
Judgment Date10 Dec 2007
Judgment citation (vLex)[2007] 12 JIEC 1001

Employment Appeals Tribunal

EAT: Thorne (claimant) v Midland Construction & Engineering (respondent)

Abstract:

Employment law - EAT - Unfair dismissal - Pregnancy - Rationalisation - Fair procedures - Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2001

EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL

CLAIM OF:

CASE NO.

Michelle Thorne, 157 Betaghstown Wood, Bettystown, Co. Meath.

UD887/2006

Against

Midland Construction & Engineering, Cortown, Kells, Co. Meath. under

UNFAIR DISMISSALS ACTS, 1977 TO 2001

I certify that the Tribunal

(Division of Tribunal)

Chairman:

Mr. D. Mahon BL

Members:

Mr. P. Pierce

Mr. J. Moore

heard this claim at Navan on 10th May 2007 and on 10th December 2007

Facts: The claimant, a quantity surveyor, was dismissed shortly before she announced to her employer that she was pregnant. The respondent sought cut backs and the dismissal was part of a rationalisation of the business. The claimant alleged that her dismissal was unfair.

Held by the EAT that a redundancy situation did not exist when the claimant's employment was terminated. The respondent did not use any procedure when dismissing the claimant. The dismissal was unfair and an award of €14,000 would be made.

The determination of the Tribunal was as follows:-
1

The fact of dismissal was not in dispute.

Respondent's Case:
2

The managing director of the respondent company gave evidence. The claimant was an assistant quantity surveyor. She prepared tender packages for sub-contractors.

3

The company was doing more work than it could manage and as a result was under financial pressure and was losing money. In May 2005 a consultant was appointed and he recommended that a strong general manager be employed to oversee the work. The consultant did not produce a written report, but he did identify the quantity-surveying department as an area where the company was losing money.

4

On 20th June 2006, the senior quantity surveyor handed in his notice. He had decided to go freelance. The managing director did not receive advance notice of this. The senior quantity surveyor would continue to do work for the respondent company. The managing director decided that without a senior quantity surveyor, there would be no role for an assistant quantity surveyor. The managing director gave notice to the assistant quantity surveyor, the claimant, on the same day as the senior quantity surveyor gave his notice. In evidence the managing...

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