Where your contract is terminated by reason of retirement or resignation there is rarely much cause for dispute between you and your employer. The position is usually very different where the employer considers it necessary to dismiss an employee. Practically every employee with at least one years service enjoys the protection of The Unfair Dismissal Act, 1977-2007. The two central principles of the legislation are that dismissal of an employee is deemed unfair unless there are substantial grounds justifying the dismissal and that fair procedures have been followed before dismissal is effected. A dismissal that meets only one of these criteria runs a grave risk of being held to be unfair. The Employment Appeals Tribunal adjudicates upon claims for unfair dismissal. If the Tribunal finds in favour of the employee it can direct that (s)he be reinstated or re-engaged with their employer. Alternatively and most commonly compensation can be awarded up to a maximum of two years salary. Remuneration is defined widely and includes not only salary but also benefits in kind such as car, pension contributions, health insurance etc. An employee who has less than one years service still has a right to issue Court action against his/her employer for unfair dismissal, however, this is a more lengthy and expensive process than the employee who goes to the Employment Appeals Tribunal where the process is straight forward and relatively informal and inexpensive.
Dismissals by reason of redundancy are governed by the Redundancy Payments Act, 167-2007. Employees with more than two years service are entitled to be paid a redundancy lump sum by their employer in an amount of two weeks salary per year of service plus one additional weeks pay. For this calculation only earnings up to €600.00 per week are taken into account. There has been a whole raft of new legislation in the area of employment law over the past decade and it is important for both employers and employees to be up to date in respect of most recent developments. It is advisable to consult your Solicitor with any queries regarding employment law.
For an initial free consultation please contact O’Hara Solicitors, at Cross Street, Athenry, Galway
– (091) 844045; oharasolicitors.com.