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Worker claims she was unfairly dismissed from Ryanair after taking time off for cancer treatment

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The Ryanair sign at Dublin Airport.

The Ryanair sign at Dublin Airport.

The Ryanair sign at Dublin Airport.

A FORMER Ryanair cabin crew worker says she was unfairly dismissed by the airline after she had to take time off work to seek treatment for cancer.

Monica Barbosa, from Portugal, told an Employment Appeals Tribunal this morning that she also suffered with Cushing's disease and has gone undergone six operations in recent years.

She said she requested to be transferred to one of Ryanair’s bases in Portugal to continue recovery and where she would benefit from the support of family and friends.

She was based in Trapani in Italy at the time.

Ryanair is denying the claim that she was unfairly dismissed. Barrister for the company Paul Twomey said Ryanair had done everything it could to facilitate Ms Barbosa’s transfer.

Giving evidence on the first day of the hearing, Ryanair’s European base manager Sarah Lapicki said the transfer process “was very complex” and Ms Barbosa had been told to be patient and she would get her transfer.

She said eight months on the transfer list was not a long amount of time for staff to be waiting and that the three destinations the plaintiff has requested - Faro, Oporto and Valencia - were either oversubscribed, downsizing or had no vacancies.

Ms Barbosa took sick leave in January 2011 to get treatment but never returned to work. She was dismissed in 2013.

Ms Barbosa is representing herself and is using the aid of a translator during the tribunal proceedings. The case continues this afternoon.

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