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May 24

Posted by
Gemma Pontson

€1,000 Lesson on Fair Dismissal Procedures

In this recent case, the complainant’s former employer was ordered to pay €1,000 compensation due to the dismissal process followed – and the amount could have been much higher...


The complainant, Mr Grzegorz Grygier, started employment with Ideal Fire Limited in January 2022. He passed his 6-month probation on time and no concerns had been raised about his performance before he was invited to a meeting with Mr Ray Dooley, Company Director, in January 2023. During this meeting, Mr Grygier’s employment was terminated. The reason given was performance, due to an issue with a gas suppression system.

During the WRC hearing, Mr Dooley confirmed that no formal investigation had occurred, or a Disciplinary hearing, and he had not raised any issues with the complainant prior to the dismissal meeting.

Training records appeared to show only a limited amount of training, which may not have included gas suppression systems, and there had been no negative consequences to the company due to the incident.

The company representative confirmed the dismissal was due to the gas suppression system, but later it was suggested that the reason was instead due to an absence incident. No process had been followed regarding this absence, and it had not been referenced during the dismissal meeting.

WRC Decision

The WRC Adjudication Officer concluded that no investigation or Disciplinary process had been followed, the complainant was not given the opportunity to state his case, and he was not afforded the right to representation. Therefore, she found the dismissal to be procedurally unfair. The complainant’s case succeeded.

Following the Unfair Dismissal finding, the Adjudication Officer considered the amount of compensation to be ordered. The complainant had found employment a week after his notice period expired, and this new job included a higher rate of pay. The Adjudication Officer decided that the Respondent should pay €1,000 in compensation. If the complainant had not been so successful in quickly obtaining a better paid role, the compensation ordered could have been considerably higher!

Takeaways for Employers

This case confirms the importance of following fair Disciplinary procedures. If a reasonable process had taken place, the sequence of events could have been very different, potentially avoiding a claim happening at all.

Bright Contracts clients have access to a comprehensive Employee Handbook, including a template Disciplinary Policy. Please contact us if you would like more information.

Posted in Company Handbook, Dismissals, Employee Handbook, Employment Law, Staff Handbook, Workplace Relations Commission, WRC