Housekeeper was unfairly dismissed

The head housekeeper at one of the country’s most famous hotels has been awarded over €20,000 after a tribunal of inquiry ruled that she had been unfairly dismissed.

The Employment Appeals Tribunal found Linda Magill had been denied fair process or fair procedure and dismissed instantly by her employers at the Grand Hotel, Tramore, Co Waterford.

Ms Magill took her case against Tompkins Ltd (in receivership), trading as the Grand Hotel, to the EAT and the hearing was held in Waterford last month. The hotel company failed to attend the hearing.

In its findings, the EAT said it heard uncontested evidence which satisfied it that Ms Magill was unfairly dismissed without notice. She had worked for the hotel from 1992 to her dismissal on August 9, 2012.

She gave evidence of illness due to work-related stress following a change in proprietorship. On return, she felt that the dynamic of the workplace had worsened and, following a brief altercation with a member of staff, she had found herself accused of bullying.

“There was clearly no investigative process and it seems highly unlikely that there were any grounds for the accusation levied against the claimant [Ms Magill]. She was denied due process and, indeed, any process, was not given any details of the complaint against her and had no opportunity to defend herself,” the tribunal said.

It added: “Instead, the termination of her employment was presented to her as a fait accompli. Without any process or fair procedure the claimant was presented with a letter on August 9, 2012 dismissing her instantly. The letter of dismissal catalogued a litany of complaints none of which had been presented to the claimant”.

Ruling she had been unfairly dismissed, the tribunal awarded Ms Magill €20,000 a further €3,400 euro under the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts.


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