| 3.9°C Dublin

Embezzler told she won't get a payout over sacking

A SECRETARY who embezzled €165,000 from a previous employer has been told by a judge she is not entitled to compensation for unfair dismissal from another company that she still owes €16,000.

The Civil Circuit Court in Dublin heard that in 2009 a company called Drillfix obtained a High Court judgment for €165,000 against Mabel Savage after she embezzled the money while working as a secretary.

And she was dismissed from another company, Hardly Floors Ltd, in 2009 after running up unpaid telephone bills in work.

Yesterday, Circuit Court President Mr Justice Matthew Deery said Savage had technically been unfairly dismissed from Hardly Floors, JFK Industrial Estate, Naas Road, Dublin.

But he told Savage (59), of Ardagh Road, Crumlin, Dublin, that because she had reneged on a company loan and had ran up unpaid telephone bills at work, she was not entitled to be compensated for what was a technicality.

Hardly Floors manager John Lee said Savage had been appointed financial controller in 2007 and, despite knowing that the company was struggling financially, she kept demanding a pay rise.

He said he realised she was greedy and this had affected their relationship.

Her salary had jumped from €27,000 to €30,000 a year following three months' probation. It had then increased at her request to €35,000 in 2008.

Mr Lee said that when Ms Savage asked him for another rise in October 2009, he increased her salary to €42,000.

This was done without permission of the company directors -- Mr Lee's wife Caroline and his son Brendan, who both objected to the raise. Two days later she was dismissed with six weeks' wages.

Warning

Gillian Reid, counsel for the company, said Savage had spent much of her working day phoning her sister Ruth and regularly left work two hours before her finishing time.

The court heard Hardly Floors had loaned Savage €30,000 for personal reasons.

She still owed the company €16,000 and was paying it off at between €20 and €70 a week, instead of an agreed €625 a month.

Savage, who said she was currently a part-time bookkeeper with another firm, claimed she had not been given any warning about her behaviour prior to having been let go.

Irish Independent