Thursday 29 September 2016

Golf club is ordered to pay former worker €24k after unfair dismissal case

Gordon Deegan

Published 24/12/2015 | 07:41

A tribunal has ordered that a north Dublin golf club pay €24,000 to a former book-keeper it unfairly dismissed
A tribunal has ordered that a north Dublin golf club pay €24,000 to a former book-keeper it unfairly dismissed

A TRIBUNAL has ordered that a north Dublin golf club pay €24,000 to a former book-keeper it unfairly dismissed.

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The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) ordered Donabate Golf Club pay Betty O'Connor €24,000 after finding that she was unfairly selected for redundancy.

Ms O'Connor took an unfair dismissal action against the club to the EAT. At a two-day hearing in Dublin, she said that banks were "micro-managing Donabate Golf Club" because it owed €160,000 following a court case. "The bank were on my back all day, every day to get reports to them," she said.

In 2013, the bank requested Grant Thornton to carry out a review of the feasibility of the club, which had constructed a golf club in 2003 at a cost of €3m.

The club employed 17 people and the headcount was reduced by five initially; then the bank requested three further redundancies. Ultimately, the bank agreed on one redundancy.

Ms O'Connor was in the role for 12 years, in which she carried out payroll and accounting functions.

The club decided to outsource the accounting function and Ms O'Connor was offered this role on a one-day per week basis.

At the hearing, Ms O'Connor said it had been "insulting" to be offered her job back as a consultant to work one day a week for €10,000 a year.

"It was not possible to do the volume of work in one day a week. It just wasn't possible," she said.

Flawed

Ms O'Connor was told on June 27, 2014, that she was being made redundant due to the club's financial situation.

The tribunal found that while Donabate Golf Club experienced financial difficulties and genuine efforts were made to try and rectify this. However, it found that no realistic alternatives to redundancy were explored by the golf club, and the procedures adopted by the club, especially relating to Ms O'Connor, were unfair, disjointed and flawed.

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