The importance of following company procedures
One would be forgiven for being nonplussed as a result of a recent decision of the WRC to refuse an applicant’s claim for constructive dismissal when she resigned having alleged unacceptable behaviour by the company’s managing director which included an allegation that he had ‘slapped her on the bottom as she leaned over a desk’. Even though the adjudication officer found in favour of the complainant, which was corroborated by one of her work colleagues and also upheld on the basis of witness evidence, a regime of ‘rudimentary and plain’ management style, and that the managing director used abusive language, he found against the complainant because she had not availed on the company’s internal grievance procedure and she had failed to provide any evidence for her suggestion that the procedure was not fit for purpose.
This case is a further example of the importance of employees to follow the internal procedures within an organisation before bringing a claim for unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal.
Constructive dismissal is particularly difficult to prove as the onus is on the employer to prove that there was a dismissal whereas in the case of an unfair dismissal, the dismissal will have taken place and the onus is on the employer to prove the dismissal was fair.
For any advice on employment matters please do not hesitate to contact Conor O’Kelly or Brendan Dillon on 01 296 0666.