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“No-Fault Dismissal” Deemed to be Substantively Unfair

posted 2 years ago

In Caroline Mcaree v Newbrook Nursing Home Ulc Drumbear Lodge Nursing Home ADJ-00030614 the Complainant submitted a complaint under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2015 (the “Acts”) that she was unfairly dismissed without reason or explanation. The Respondent employer asserted that the termination of the Complainant’s employment complied with the provisions of her contract of employment and was a “no fault” dismissal.

Facts: The Complainant, Ms Mcaree, was employed with the Respondent from 3rd March 2009 until 17th September 2020. The Complainant was originally employed as a Nurse Manager and was promoted to Director of Nursing in 2016, based in Drumbear Lodge Nursing Home.

Mr Phil Darcy, CEO for the Respondent, outlined in evidence under oath how Covid-19 put pressure on their services to maintain a high level of care. Mr Darcy gave evidence that on 2nd April 2020 he received a call from HIQA querying Drumbear Lodge Nursing Home’s lack of preparedness and contingency planning for Covid-19.  Mr Darcy was surprised as there had been extensive planning conducted and he wrote an email to the Complainant to ensure she complied with the relevant directions. He claims he did not get a response and it weighed on his mind. Conversely, the Complainant’s representative submitted that the Complainant did in fact reply to this email, but that she did so over a telephone call. It was also submitted on behalf of the Respondent that the Complainant failed to send a HIQA notification in line with an email request to do so by Mr Darcy on 21st April 2020. This was admitted by the Complainant, and she put it down to tiredness, oversight and human error. She gave evidence that the following day she discussed the omission with her HIQA Inspector and was advised not to worry about it. It was also submitted that the Respondent had been notified of significant health and safety concerns regarding the care of its residents in Drumbear Lodge and there was a serious outbreak of Covid-19 in that facility.

 

Read the full article here 

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