Permanent TSB has succeeded in having an award of €10,000 against it overturned concerning the dismissal of a bank official.
This follows the Labour Court setting aside a ruling by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) that the bank must pay compensation of €10,000 to former Senior Customer Adviser, Christopher Callan, for his unfair dismissal in February last year.
At the WRC, WRC Adjudication Officer, Eugene Hanly said that the “punishment did not fit the ‘crime’” concerning the bank sacking Mr Callan.
However, Permanent TSB appealed the ruling to the Labour Court and the court has found that the dismissal of Mr Callan was fair as it falls within the “range of reasonable responses of a reasonable employer”.
The bank sacked Mr Callan for advising a customer to sign her ex-husband’s name on the back of a bank draft that allowed her to lodge the draft to her own account.
During the bank’s disciplinary process, Mr Callan described what occurred as “a moment of madness” and accepted that he was aware of the bank’s policies and procedures.
Mr Callan had an unblemished record with the bank for 10-and-a-half years before the incident in September 2017.
Two days after the incident Mr Callan told his Branch Manager that he had made a serious mistake.
Permanent TSB accepted Mr Callan did not benefit in any manner from the incident.
Mr Callan told bank-appointed investigators that on the day that he was distracted by another customer from whom he was under pressure and told the woman to put both names on the draft.
He then lodged it to her account and it was only later he realised he should not have done it and brought it to the attention of a Manager.
Declan Fitzpatrick was one of two to carry out the bank’s disciplinary process and Mr Fitzpatrick told the Labour Court that, because it was a deliberate action, he could not trust Mr Callan on his team.
Mr Fitzpatrick said that Mr Callan knew what he was doing was a breach of policy and he came to the conclusion that dismissal for gross misconduct was the only option.
At the Labour Court, Mr Callan stated that there was no malice or intent in his actions and he in no way benefited from the incident. This was the first and only time an incident of this nature had occurred.
Mr Callan claimed that the sanction of dismissal was disproportionate.