Saturday 3 December 2016

Bakery sales and business development manager obtains High Court injunction preventing the immediate termination of his job

Tim Healy

Published 22/10/2015 | 16:48

The judge was satisfied, having regard to Mr Brennan's contractual entitlements, he was entitled to the injunction.
The judge was satisfied, having regard to Mr Brennan's contractual entitlements, he was entitled to the injunction.

A SALES and business development manager in a bakery - which went into receivership and was then sold to rival - has obtained a High Court injunction preventing the immediate termination of his job.

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Conor Brennan began employment with Irish Pride Bakeries last February on a salary of €100,000 but by August the firm went into receivership on foot of a debt sold by the company's bankers to Baker Holdings (Luxembourg) SARL.

Joint receivers, Kieran Wallace and Shane McCarthy of KPMG, continued to run the business as a going concern but, on August 6, Mr Brennan was told his job was being terminated by reason of redundancy.

The receivers also announced the majority of Irish Pride's assets and business was to be sold to Pat the Baker and 250 jobs would be saved.

Mr Brennan then got an interim injunction restraining his termination, pending further order.

Today, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan said the order could continue on an interlocutory basis, that is pending the full hearing of his action.

The judge said Mr Brennan was not challenging the validity of his redundancy but the alleged breach of his contractual terms which state he is entitled to three months notice.   It was not disputed he was an exemplary employee and there were no reasons to justify summary termination of his employment, he said.

The receivers had argued, among other things, that Mr Brennan was effectively entitled to two weeks notice because he had been employed for less than two years.

They had also argued they had to reduce staffing costs in relation to employees "not critical" to the business and that included Mr Brennan.

It had been agreed with Pat the Baker that EU regulations in relation to transfer of businesses (Protection of Employees on Transfer of Undertakings) will apply in this case.  Separately, a redundancy process among senior executives of Irish Pride was ongoing.

The judge was satisfied, having regard to Mr Brennan's contractual entitlements, he was entitled to the injunction.  It was always open to the company to give him the three months notice, the judge said.

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