A live-in caretaker made homeless when he was sacked has been awarded €40,440

AWRC adjudication officer said the dismissal was ‘at at the extreme end of the spectrum of unfairness’

 

A live-in caretaker at a residential facility for homeless people was rendered homeless himself after he was unfairly dismissed by a property management company.

The man — who suffers from osteoarthritis — worked at the facility for just over a year, earning €300 per week before he was dismissed on September 30th, 2016.

He was responsible for attending the front door, cleaning, monitoring the CCTV and record keeping at the facility, which accommodated 20 homeless people in nine units.

He took an unfair dismissal case at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and it has ordered the un-named property management firm to pay the man a total of €40,440.

The €40,440 award is in response to ten claims made by the man under workplace legislation against his former employer including a €31,000 award for unfair dismissal.

WRC adjudication officer, Pat Brady said the evidence in relation to the unfair dismissal was “stark” and that the caretaker was “a credible witness”.

Mr Brady said “the invented disciplinary meeting, the reference to his having disciplinary procedures which he never got, the total absence of procedures and the finding of gross misconduct all place this dismissal at the extreme end of the spectrum of unfairness and this is reflected in my award”.

Mr Brady said it was not relevant to the legislation, but the man “was also made homeless as a result of the actions of the respondent”.

The property firm did not attend the WRC hearing and no explanation was received for the failure to do so.

The worker said his employer was well aware of his disability.

He said he was in receipt of disability allowance which was subject to a maximum working week of twenty hours.

In addition, he said the nature of his work, requiring long periods monitoring CCTV and moving heavy bins exacerbated his osteoarthritis.

Mr Brady said “it is hard not to conclude that the respondent was knowingly indifferent to the complainant’s disability”.

In respect of the man’s other claims, Mr Brady awarded €5,000 for not accommodating his disability; €1,335 for a breach of the Payment of Wages Act; €2,205 for breaches of the Organisation of Working Time Act and €900 for a breach of the Term of Employment Act.