Sunday 25 August 2019

Events firm to pay €90k over dismissal

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Gordon Deegan

An event management firm that attracts heads of state and ceos to its events has been ordered to pay €90,000 in compensation to a speaker director for his unfair dismissal.

Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) adjudication officer Jim Dolan made the award after finding that a genuine redundancy situation did not exist. During the director's time with the business, its four events had 3,000 speakers in 2018, and the overall attendance at events had grown to over 100,000 attendees.

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Mr Dolan said the firm holds events across the world, where it gathers the founders and CEOs of technology companies and heads of state.

In May 2018, a recently appointed head of speaker operations amalgamated two speaker teams. It became evident to the firm that the claimant's role as speaker director was no longer required and could be easily subsumed into other existing roles. The man received his redundancy notice on July 2, 2018, after being warned in June that he was at risk of redundancy.

However, a letter from the man's solicitors dated July 17, 2018 to the firm alleged that their client was "shut out of the office, marginalised and isolated from his colleagues, all of which had a damaging effect on his reputation".

The firm wrote back to state how sorry it was to see the claimant go and there was no alternative position within the business that was acceptable to him. The firm rejected the allegations that the claimant was marginalised or isolated, and said he was never refused access to his desk.

It said that the speaker director's employment was terminated by reason of redundancy, and the firm followed fair and reasonable procedures.

The firm can appeal the outcome to the Labour Court. No parties were named in the WRC decision.

Irish Independent

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