Disciplinary Case Law

 

Paul Taylor v David Lloyd Leisure Limited (UD 2366/2009) (MN2191/2009)

 

In this case, the complainant made a claim under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2007 and the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts, 1973-2005 to the Employment Appeals Tribunal. The complainant had been provided with a company credit card but no guidelines, directives or recommendations regarding its usage were ever provided to him by the respondent employer.

Difficulties began to arise in October 2008 when new management practices were introduced by the respondent. Subsequently allegations of fraud were made against the claimant, such as inappropriate expenditure and misuse of the company’s credit card. On foot of these allegations an investigation was initiated which ultimately led to the claimant’s dismissal. The claimant brought a claim before the Tribunal. While the Tribunal accepted that the claimant may well have deserved some form of disciplinary sanction in relation to his conduct, it determined that the sanction imposed by the employer was disproportionate. The tribunal awarded the claimant €280,000.00 compensation under the Unfair Dismissals Acts and an additional €19,038.42.00 or six weeks’ pay under the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts.

It is therefore critical that prior to commencing any form of Disciplinary or corrective action against an employee, the employer should consider the appropriateness of the sanction relative to the issue and whether this is in breach of the employee`s rights and consequently whether it is likely to give rise to an Employment Law Claim.