Saturday 21 April 2018

Bank executive 'remorselessly marginalised by line manager' after appointment to €177,000 post

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Saurya Cherfi

A Deputy Head of Group Performance with Bank of Ireland, who claims she has been “remorselessly marginalised by her line manager” has launched a High Court legal action aimed at preventing her purported dismissal.

Catherine Ryan claims that since she was appointed in September last to the €177,000 salary post, her superior had redefined the role she had been contracted to do to a lower position.

Ms Ryan, a mother of two from Dundrum, Dublin, alleged in legal documents she has been “set up to fail” by her superior who was against her being hired by the bank.  She also claims she has been isolated at work.

The court heard that Ms Ryan had been hired at a higher salary and at the same grade than her superior.

Frank Callanan SC, for Ms Ryan, said her client had given up employment with Ernst & Young after she was given assurances about her employment by the bank.

Mr Callanan said the bank used the six-month probation period Ms Ryan had to undergo as a tool to try to get rid of her after it had reneged in its commitments to her.

At the High Court today Mr Justice Michael Twomey today heard during an application which was made ex-parte that Ms Ryan was allegedly told last January the bank was seeking legal advice as to how she could be dismissed.

In March, counsel said Ms Ryan's superior had issued an allegedly false, malicious and defamatory recommendation regarding her continued employment and following a review she was informed 10 days ago that she was being dismissed.

She claimed the termination process had been extremely humiliating, disorientating and protracted, and she had been deliberately marginalised and excluded during her probation period.

Ms Ryan, who is seeking several orders including one restraining the bank from taking any steps to give effect to the termination of her employment, alleges the review had been a forgone conclusion that would support her superior’s recommendation for her dismissal.

Ms Ryan claims the role she was assigned to do differed by as much as 80pc from the role she had been hired to fulfil.  A number of tasks had been assigned to her which she had no experience in doing.

Mr Justice Twomey heard the role Ms Ryan was asked to do could have been carried out by a manager on half the salary she had been offered, and the job was not the strategic position she had been offered during the recruitment process. 

Ms Ryan alleges in a sworn statement she has been the victim of internal politics and her superior kept her “at arm-length from all that he could.”

Today the judge directed that the bank be put on notice of the application and adjourned the case to the next legal term.

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