Employment and Industrial Relations Law
Summary Dismissal of Employees
The Court of Appeal overturned a decision of the Industrial Tribunal given in the names of Marco Pisani vs The AV Warehouse and stated that summary dismissal of an employee must be the exception and not the rule.
In this case, the Tribunal decided that dismissal was justified due to an incident were some boxes fell off a lifter which the employee was operating after the employee stacked such boxes incorrectly. The employee had been given several warnings for being late and for general mistreatment of the equipment amongst other things and he was immediately dismissed following the final incident where the boxes fell off the lifter. The Court of Appeal analyzed the details of the case as heard before the Tribunal and noted that clear details were not provided as to the type of warnings and the number of warnings given. The Court stated that attention should have been paid to the issue which led to his dismissal, and a decision should have been taken on appropriate disciplinary measure as compared to summary dismissal. In this case, the employee was immediately dismissed as it was assumed that the boxes had fallen due to the employee’s negligence without giving the employee any chance to explain the situation. The Court noted that this was a case of a summary dismissal and that such dismissal is not the norm and should only be used where there is grave misconduct.
The Court noted that the Tribunal had not based its decision solely on the last incident which had happened prior to dismissal however given that this was the reason for dismissal, there was lack of proof that the incident was due to negligence from the employee’s side. Thus, it declared the termination to be unjust and liquidated compensation to amount to €5000.
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