Manager dismissed for refusing to work Sundays wins €15,000 for unfair dismissal

In this case, a pizza manager successfully took a claim against his previous employer for unfair dismissal. The company had requested the claimant to work two Sunday shifts and when he refused he was told by his manager to not return to the business. At the hearing, the company alleged that they were under the belief that the employee had resigned from his role and was not dismissed. However, this was rejected by the Adjudication Officer and the claimant’s version of events was favoured.

From this case, there are some important lessons for employers:

  • If you are of the belief that an employee has resigned, ensure to get this in writing or else it is one person’s word against another
  • If an employee has resigned in the heat of the moment or there are underlying issues in the workplace which has led the employee to resign, the employee should be formally requested to reconsider their decision and/or the matters should be investigated
  • If you require an employee to work an additional shift/stay late and they refuse then listen to the reasons for why they are not in a position to stay on that occasion and note these. You could then agree an alternative day that they could work instead to ensure all additional hours are fairly allocated among employees
  • Do not react in the heat of the moment! You can express your disappointment that an employee is unable to help out on this occasion but be careful about letting this get the better of you. Take a few minutes to calm down before responding to the employee to ensure that you do not say something (as in this case) that you may later regret

 If you have any queries on this article, please contact Ciara McGuone on or on 016051668.


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Irish Business Monitor June 2017