Wexford man who went into work after hours to retrieve his mobile phone wins €40000 award for constructive dismissal – Independent.ie

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The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). Photo: Stock image
Maria Pepper
November 23 2022 03:17 PM
A Wexford man secured an award of more than €40,000 at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) following his unfair dismissal by his employer, McGuire Haulage Limited, which has a head office in Thomastown, County Kilkenny.
SIPTU member Des O’ Farrell was forced to resign his job after the company failed in its contractual duty to provide work for him to carry out, according to Workers Rights Centre Advocate with the union, Rachel Hartery.
She said Mr O’ Farrell’s problems began when he entered his place of work, Danone baby food production plant at Rocklands in Wexford, after hours in June 2019 to retrieve his work mobile phone. He worked there under the management of McGuire Haulage Limited.
 McGuire Haulage said it viewed his actions as a security breach, although employees had never been formally advised not to enter the Rocklands site after hours and off duty.
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Ms Hartery said the company then suggested to Danone that Mr O’ Farrell be banned from the site. When this ban was implemented, it resulted in him being unable to carry out his work.
“McGuire Haulage offered Des work in Dublin but this was not a suitable option for him”, she said.
"At the hearing the company claimed that Des was still employed although it had offered work that was not viable for him.
" However, the WRC adjudicator found that the onus was on the employer to either provide suitable work or terminate his contract and that McGuire Haulage did neither which had effectively ended his 23 years of loyal service to the company.”
“This is an important victory for him as he was without work or income for a considerable amount of time”, she added.
Following the ruling, Mr O’ Farrell said his case showed the value of being in a union.  “SIPTU were very helpful to me in this case. I would urge all workers to be in a union. The result of my case shows how important union membership is.”

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