Francis Brennan’s hotel urged to pay €90,000 to ex-manager

Labour Court recommends Park Hotel make a payment to former general manager

Francis and John Brennan. Photograph: Park Hotel

Francis and John Brennan. Photograph: Park Hotel

 

The Labour Court has recommended that the Brennan brothers’ five-star Park Hotel in Kenmare, Co Kerry pay €90,000 to a general manager sacked in April.

The unnamed man took up the job in January but was fired by the hotel’s managing director John Brennan in April during his probationary period. The man then brought an unfair dismissal claim to the Labour Court.

The court found that he was denied natural justice in his dismissal and that procedures adopted in the termination of his employment were seriously flawed.

As a result, the Labour Court recommended that the Park Hotel pay the claimant €90,000 in a full and final settlement of his claim. However, the recommendation is not binding.

Asked about the matter, John Brennan said: “We note the findings of the Labour Court recommendation. However, they are not binding and employment was terminated within the probationary period.”

Mr Brennan said that, in their time at the Park Hotel since 1981, he and his brother Francis “have never had an unfair dismissal case taken against us” .

He added: “We have never terminated employment in the probationary period before and have a very good working relationship with all of our 70 employees.”

‘Headhunted’

In the case, the claimant said he was “headhunted” by the Park Hotel and moved from Dublin to Kenmare to take up the role on January 28th last . He said he was dismissed without warning by John Brennan on April 27th.

The Park Hotel disputed that the employee had been head-hunted, and argued that it was entitled to dismiss the man and that the contract of employment unequivocally provides that either party can terminate it during the probationary period by giving written notice.

The claimant told the Labour Court he was called to a meeting and informed by the managing director that “this was not working out” and asked to leave with immediate effect.

In its findings, the Labour Court stated that there was no reason to doubt the worker’s assertion that his reputation was seriously damaged by the actions of his then employer.

In its recommendation, the Labour Court said it was satisfied that the man was not provided with details of any performance issues; no warning was given that his employment was in jeopardy; he was not afforded the right to representation; he was not provided with reasons for his dismissal, and he was not afforded an opportunity to reply.

“Therefore, the court is satisfied that he was denied natural justice,”it concluded.