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Blog  »  September 2015  »  Tribunal sees the delay in addressing an issue as amounting to an unfair process. - Blog
19
Sep 15

Posted by
Jennie Hussey

Tribunal sees the delay in addressing an issue as amounting to an unfair process.

At a recent Employment Appeals Tribunal an employee of an NCT centre was awarded €35,000 for Unfair Dismissal after his employment was terminated for behaviour that his employer deemed to be serious misconduct.

The issue at hand was that the employee tested his own vehicle on the morning of March 10th 2012. The employee handbook, which the employee confirmed he had received, had guidelines pertaining to their own vehicle or family members vehicles - that it is forbidden to test one's own vehicle or one belonging to family members. "The inspector must inform his manager who will organise for another inspector to test the vehicle."

On the 8th of July 2013 an investigative meeting was held relating to the testing of the employee's own car, a second investigative meeting occurred on the 29th of July and furthermore a disciplinary meeting was held on the 15th of August whereby the employee was suspended from duties with pay until a final decision was made. On the 16th of August 2013, nearly a year and a half after the incident occurred, the Regional Manager wrote to the employee informing him that his employment would be terminated with effect from the 27th of September 2013. The employee appealed the decision unsuccessfully.

The employee denies he was ever informed that testing his own vehicle would result in dismissal.

The fact that the employer took action and dismissed the employee more than a year after the incident is what led the tribunal to find the termination of the employee as unfair.

So even though the employer followed their own protocol, the fact it was not done at the time of the incident or even close to it, allowed for the Tribunal to see the delay in addressing the issue as amounting to an unfair process.

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Posted in Company handbook, Contract of employment, Dismissals