Unfair Dismissal for Defective Redundancy Selection Process
A HSE funded body that provides services to people with intellectual disabilities based in the midlands has been ordered to pay a former manager over €100,000 for unfair dismissal. In a determination released this week, the employment appeals tribunal found that St Hilda’s services did not follow proper procedures when making assistant general manager, Tina Brennan, redundant.
Ms Brennan’s position within St Hilda’s had been created in early 2008 when the organisation successfully applied to the HSE for extra funding to help ensure safe governance. The new role created and filled by Ms Brennan mainly comprised of human resources tasks and project management. Between June 2009 and February 2010 Ms Brennan went on maternity leave. In July 2009 the managing director of the organisation died and an interim manager was appointed. It was decided by the board of management that a new permanent manager would not be appointed until a review of the organization was completed.
In the meantime the government announced cuts in the budget which resulted in a 7% cut in St Hilda’s funding. Following the review many tasks were re-allocated. It was agreed that it was necessary to make Ms Brennan’s position redundant. When she returned, Ms Brennan was told by the interim manager that she was to lose her job.
In its determination, the tribunal found that while a genuine redundancy situation had arisen, the decision to decide on who was to be made redundant was “defective”. According to the tribunal Ms Brennan was “clearly and deliberately” denied any opportunity to engage in the process. The tribunal awarded Ms Brennan €116,616 in compensation under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2007.