The Employment Appeals Tribunal has ordered Health Service Executive (HSE) to pay €200,000 in compensation as well as over €200,000 in legal costs for the constructive dismissal of Frank McClintock, its former head of ambulance services. After evidence of the improper use of a fuel card had emerged, McClintock, who lives in Derry, resigned from HSE.
Previously, the Employment Appeals Tribunal found that McClintock should not get compensation because of “pre-dismissal events,” even though he was constructively dismissed. McClintock appealed the decision to the Circuit Civil Court. Likewise, Health Service Executive appealed the court to overturn the tribunal’s constructive dismissal finding.
McClintock’s use of the fuel card for his private car was inappropriate, said Judge Alan Mahon, who found that in any internal inquiry he would have eventually faced suspension or dismissal. McClintock was well aware of this as well as the possible referral to the gardai, so he resigned. The judge said McClintock’s resignation had not been voluntary due to anxiety over discovering he had been found guilty of misconduct without having the opportunity to defend himself.
Constructive dismissal had been close to catastrophic for his career, the judge stipulated. The two parties agreed to accept his earlier determination of a €250,000 award, the judge was told at a hearing yesterday, minus €50,000 for the personal use of an HSE fuel card. The hearing was docketed to deal with the matter of legal costs. The four-day hearing in the Employment Appeals Tribunal and the 11-day court hearing cost the HSE over €200,000.
Employment Law Solicitors Ireland (http://employmentlawsolicitorsireland.com/constructive-dismissal/) provides information on Constructive Dismissal in Ireland. There is nothing more divisive than constructive dismissal and this article will outline, albeit briefly, the legal principles of constructive dismissal.
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