Teh father of a new baby who had his employment terminated just 11 days after the birth of his new-born baby, while he was on paternity leave, has been awarded €2,461 in unfair dismissal compensation by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).
At a work meeting on 12 January 2017 the man, who was working as a horticulturalist was advised he was being made redundant – straight after his boss congratulated him on the birth of his new baby. His boss then asked to clear his desk of his things and leave immediately.
The man took a legal action for unfair dismissal and the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has upheld his claim and ordered his former employer to pay him a sum of €2,461 in wrongful dismissal compensation. WRC Adjudication Officer, Pat Brady has referred the employer’s conduct during the case as “seriously unacceptable”.
The unfair dismissal compensation amount awarded would have been much greater higher if the man had not found a new job so quickly. However as he was quick to find a new, better-paid, role it meant that his precious employer was not liable for as much compensation as may have been the case.
When appearing before the WRC, the man referred to the fact that any termination during on paternity leave is automatically found to be unfair as per section 20 of the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act, 2016. The employer remarked that he was not conscious of the fact that that as employee being absent on paternity leave was an issue and the business decision to make the man redundant was due to a restructuring of his company.
Pat Brady, the WRC Adjudication Officer, said that the employer in the case had adopted a negligent attitude to the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act.
Mr Brady stated: “Then, in circumstances which could scarcely have been more insensitive, he was given one day’s notice of a meeting at which his employment is terminated and he is told to leave the premises and not to return.”
He went on to say: “However, it is the total absence of any procedures which is of more concern; the lack of proper or any notice, the lack of a selection procedure or consideration of alternatives.”