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Blog  »  March 2014  »  Employee unfairly dismissed for improper Internet use - €7,000 Award - Blog
Mar 14

Posted by
Audrey Mooney

Employee unfairly dismissed for improper Internet use - €7,000 Award

On 17th December 2013, the Employment Appeals Tribunal in Mullingar heard a claim that an employee had been unfairly dismissed by her employer for improper internet use. The employee was employed as a Marketing Assistant in the wholesale electrical company from 1st November 2010. For the first year, the employee worked a 3 day week as she was completing a graphic design course. From the 1st November 2011 the employee began working a 5 day week


At the hearing the Managing Director claimed that both he and the Office Manager had warned the employee on a number of occasions about her non-work related internet use. The Managing Director claimed the warnings were of a verbal nature. The Managing Director said that on 16th January 2012 he witnessed the employee on a social media site and he called her to his office before proceeding to dismiss her from her employment with the Company.

The Company did not have a formal internet use/social media policy in place while the employee was employed. It also became apparent that the employee did not receive a contract of employment nor did she receive a copy of the Company’s disciplinary procedures.

The employee stated that she completed all work that was assigned to her and that she regularly requested more work to do during her working hours but was not provided with enough work to take up all her working hours. The employee explained that, if she was aware of the company’s policy around internet use/social media then she would have abided by it.

The Tribunal found that there was no gross misconduct on the part of the employee; the Tribunal found that the employee was Unfairly Dismissed and awarded her €7,000 in compensation under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2007.

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