A social services provider has been ordered to pay a former Operations Manager (OM) €70,000 for his unfair dismissal.
The employer sacked the OM a number of weeks after telling him on May 8, 2018 that there had been some issues with missing petty cash receipts to the value of €100,000.
The OM denied knowing anything about any missing petty cash receipts.
The man sued for unfair dismissal and in his ruling Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) Adjudication Officer, Roger McGrath has ordered the employer to pay the former OM a total of €85,166.
The award is made up of the €70,000 for the unfair dismissal and €15,166 for two other workplace breaches.
Mr McGrath stated that it is clear the former OM was dismissed without the requisite fair procedures being followed.
Mr McGrath found that the former OM was not given adequate details of the allegations to be able to adequately address them; not given the right of representation and was not afforded an opportunity to defend himself.
In evidence, the former OM stated that at the end of the conversation with the organisation’s director on May 8 concerning the missing petty cash receipts, the director told the OM to go home for a week or two, and not to contact anyone from work.
The director also instructed the OM to leave his phone in the office.
The OM telephoned the director on May 9, 2018, but when the director realised it was the OM on the phone, he ended the conversation abruptly.
When the OM returned to work on May 15, 2018, he found his office was gone and that two other managers were in his place.
He was also told to take another few days leave by the director and that they would meet thereafter.
The OM maintains that, by this time, the employer had de facto removed him from the workplace without an investigation or any disciplinary procedures.
Shortly after May 17, the OM realised that he had been locked out of his company email account.
He stated that this was done without any reason or explanation being given and cemented the fact that he had been suspended and removed from the workplace.
On June 30, 2018, the employer wrote to the OM enclosing his P45.
The employer enclosed no other information within the letter and did not make any other form of communication with him at this time.
The OM maintains that the employer dismissed him having never put him on notice that his employment was in question and never put any specific allegations to him or presented actual evidence regarding why he was being dismissed.
The former OM’s evidence was uncontested as the employer did not attend the hearing.