In Brief: Case Law Special (May 2019)Posted in : Supplementary Articles ROI on 3 June 2019
This month’s 'In Brief ' is a common law catch up. It can be hard to keep up-to-date with case law developments – it’s all too easy to miss an important decision that has major implications for employers and employees. For this very reason we decided to compile a list of some of the most interesting employment cases that have been decided in the last few months.
If you want to know more about any of the cases, each has a link to a more detailed case review on the Irish Employment Law Hub, where you will also find a further link to the full judgment online.
The decisions highlighted in this article cover a wide range of employment issues, including discrimination on the grounds of age and disability; constructive dismissal; collective and trade union issues; unfair dismissal; covert surveillance and data protection, and failure to follow disciplinary and grievance procedures.
Removal of job offer for 65-year-old was age discrimination. The respondent’s justification for setting a retirement age was for health and safety reasons but the court noted that they were not provided with any evidence which would suggest that the driver’s ability to cope in the sometimes challenging situations could potentially be impacted by age.
This case was brought before the Labour Court as a result of the Respondent’s decision to utilise their staff’s banked hours on the 1st and 2nd of March 2018 when a Red Alert weather warning had been issued by Met Eireann. The court found that the utilisation of ‘banked hours’ to deal with a red weather warning was a reasonable action by the Employer.
This case focuses on the importance of bringing a claim of unfair dismissal within the requisite time frame. Crucially the Complainant “failed to establish a causal connection between the factors relied upon by him and the delay in presenting the within claim”.
Refusal of application to a summer school training event for Complainant with Autism, Asperger’s, and difference in cognitive style, was not disability discrimination as complainant failed to establish prima facie case.
A breach of the employer’s duty of care towards a seven-month pregnant employee was grounds for constructive dismissal.
This case highlights the importance of an employer to adhere to their disciplinary policies before they dismiss an employee to avoid a finding of unfair dismissal.
Failure to pay for sick leave incurred for an employee’s absence due to an elective surgery was not a breach of contract as the sick leave was unauthorised as the employee did not comply with the company sick pay policy in advance of same.
On 20 March 2019, the Supreme Court held that Mr. Tomasz Zalewski has the requisite locus standi to pursue his constitutional challenge in relation to certain provisions of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 and the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977, as amended. Mr. Zalewski’s constitutional challenge will now proceed in the High Court.
Implementation of hidden camera for covert surveillance was breach of implied duty of trust and confidence leading to constructive dismissal finding.
An employee’s failure to engage in organisational procedures to try to resolve a grievance before resigning undermined her constructive dismissal claim.
The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.