Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Questions (324)

Clare Daly

Question:

324. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if there is any legislation in Ireland akin to the British employment law whereby an employer can legally dismiss an employee if they reasonably believe that the employee committed an offence despite there being no evidence to support this belief. [21295/14]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

As the Deputy will appreciate, I cannot provide legal advice in relation to the employment law rights applying to any individual’s specific circumstances. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any concerns an individual may have about their situation.

In Irish legislation, the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2007 lay down criteria by which the fairness or otherwise of dismissals are adjudicated upon. In section 6(4) the Acts provide for potentially fair reasons for dismissal, including the conduct of an employee. The Acts state that, in determining whether the dismissal of an employee was an unfair dismissal or not, it shall be for the employer to show that the dismissal resulted wholly or mainly from one or more of the matters specified in Section 6(4) or that there were other substantial grounds justifying the dismissal. The Acts further provide that in determining if a dismissal is an unfair dismissal, regard may be had, if the Rights Commissioner, the Employment Appeals Tribunal or the Circuit Court, as the case may be, consider it appropriate to do so to, amongst other things, the reasonableness of the conduct of the employer in relation to the dismissal. Each case is adjudicated upon on its merits and the facts of the case.

An employee who has been dismissed may take a case under the Acts within 6 months of the date of dismissal (this can be extended to 12 months in exceptional circumstances). To qualify to take a case under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, an employee is normally expected to have at least one year’s continuous service with the employer, with some exceptions. Where a dismissal is found to be unfair, redress may take the form of either financial compensation, re-engagement or re-instatement, depending on which form of redress the adjudicatory body considers appropriate, having regard to all the circumstances of a case.

A claim under the Acts may be submitted initially to either a Rights Commissioner or the Employment Appeals Tribunal. An application to either of these bodies may be made using the “Single Complaint Form” which is available at website www.workplacerelations.ie.