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Irish Employment law and HR practice updates - May 2010
The Importance of correct selection procedures in determining redundancies.

Geoghegan v JJ Rhatigan and Co (Case No UD322/2009)

The EAT has awarded €10,452 for unfair dismissal to a finishing foreman who was made redundant ahead of the general foreman without proper selection procedures being followed.
The Tribunal having considered the evidence adduced, the Tribunal accept there was a genuine downturn in the company’s business. However, the selection of the claimant for redundancy was questionable. At the time of the redundancy the claimant’s job was not redundant, the respondent chose to replace the claimant with another foreman.

There was no concern over the claimant’s ability to continue with the refurbishment build. The respondent did not explain to the claimant the reasoning behind this replacement. Nor did they consider any alternative work on the site for the claimant but yet the claimant stated he would have been prepared to do other work. The respondent appears to have made the selection without making any effort to enquire about the claimant’s ability to do other work.

In making an employee redundant the employer is required to show firstly that a genuine redundancy situation existed, and then go on to show that the process by which that particular employee was chosen for redundancy was fair and did not contravene the Unfair Dismissals Acts.

In the circumstances of this case the Tribunal finds that while a genuine redundancy situation existed, no effort was made by the employer to establish criteria for selection for redundancy, or to inform the claimant of these criteria, or to allow him to make representations as to why he should be retained.
In considering all of the circumstances the Tribunal makes a unanimous finding that the claimant was unfairly dismissed. Taking all the evidence, including evidence of loss and mitigation thereof into account the Tribunal awards the claimant €10,452.00 under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977
to 2007.


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