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WRC Upholds Unfair Dismissal Complaint – Fixed Term Contract Did Not Contain Appropriate Waiver

posted 11 months ago

A Worker v A Health Service Provider ADJ-00037789 concerned a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission (“WRC”) under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 –2015 (the “Acts”). The Complainant argued that she was unfairly dismissed after being assured that her post would be made permanent over time.

 

Facts: The Complainant was employed on two fixed term contracts. The first contract commenced on 24th August 2020 and lasted three months. It was immediately followed by a twelve-month contract from 24th November 2020 to 23rd November 2021. The Complainant’s employment was terminated on 23rd November 2021.

 

The Complainant gave evidence that her duties were unclear and that she was not provided with a job description despite there being a line in her contract stating that “[t]he main duties of your position are set out in the attached job description”. She claimed that she was told that her fixed term contracts would roll over and that she would be made permanent after four years.

During her employment, the Complainant’s duties included financial support initially and then she was reassigned to Covid-related work on two different occasions. She gave evidence that she had trained other staff on Excel and referred to her probationary report signed by her line manager on  11th August 2021 which confirmed the nature of her role.

 

The Complainant gave evidence that there were tensions among staff regarding how work was assigned. She felt that despite her degree qualifications and attending several online courses to improve her skills and be familiar with practices and procedures, she was not receiving recognition nor was she progressing like her colleagues.

 

The Complainant explained that she was informed on 1st October that her contract would not be renewed, despite previous assurances that she would be made permanent after four years.

 

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