Man awarded €17,750 for unfair dismissal by transport firm

A COBH man has been awarded €17,750 in compensation after the Employment Appeals Tribunal found he had been unfairly dismissed from his job with a transport company.

Patrick Kavanagh worked for BC Transport Ltd, Rathcormac, as a nightshift warehouse supervisor from July 2006 to February 2009, loading and unloading trucks. He was the most recently employed of three in his section.

Evidence was given that the company had a difficult trading year in 2008 and the first five months of the new financial year were worse. In January 2009 the accountant advised the managing director serious changes had to be made or the firm would have to cease trading.

The accountant advised the managing director to ask all employees to take a 16% pay cut with immediate effect, which he did at a staff briefing in January 2009.

It was the managing director’s evidence that the claimant called him over the pay cut. The claimant told him he was not entitled to cut his salary and that when the managing director explained that he had no other choice, the claimant told him he could not touch his salary until they had a meeting in two weeks time.

Later that day the managing director was told by the accountant that further cuts would have to be made. He selected Mr Kavanagh for redundancy using the process of “last in, first out”.

Mr Kavanagh was the only person to question the pay cut and the only employee made redundant.

The Tribunal said: “Purporting to make the claimant redundant within hours of his request for a meeting to discuss the pay cut and without acceding to the claimant’s request for a meeting renders the dismissal unfair.”


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