Dismissal of car salesman for failing to sell any cars ‘not unfair’

Man had job for seven weeks in January and February, which is busiest time year, WRC told

A Dublin car dealership’s decision to dismiss a salesman who failed to sell any vehicles over a seven week period, viewed as the busiest time of the year, was fair, the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has ruled. Image: iStock.

A Dublin car dealership’s decision to dismiss a salesman who failed to sell any vehicles over a seven week period, viewed as the busiest time of the year, was fair, the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has ruled. Image: iStock.

 

A Dublin car dealership’s decision to dismiss a salesman who failed to sell any vehicles over a seven week period, viewed as the busiest time of the year, was fair, the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has ruled.

The South African-born worker sued for unfair dismissal after losing his job having failed to sell any cars between taking up and losing the job between January 8th and February 23rd last year.

The letter of dismissal cited the man’s poor performance, lack of sales and ability to carry out a sales function.

WRC adjudication officer Catherine Byrne found the dismissal was not unfair.

“While it is regrettable that his aspirations to work as a car salesman with the company didn’t succeed, I am satisfied that, due to the fact that he did not sell any cars, the decision to dismiss him was not unfair,” she said.

Ms Byrne also found the complainant’s claim that he was discriminated against because he is not Irish to be without substance.

The man approached the dealership in November 2017 and stated that his family had run a dealership in South Africa. While it had been 17 years since he worked in the business, he felt he still had a flair for it.

Two weeks into the job, having recorded no sales, the man had a meeting with the company’s head of business and the sales manager. A note written by the sales manager recorded that they asked the complainant to provide points on how they could “enable you to get selling cars as soon as possible”.

Requirements

On February 1st, the salesman sent the sales manager a list of requirements, including a filing cabinet, a computer tablet, business cards, a suit, copies of policies and training on the sales process and car delivery.

On February 15th, the salesman attended another performance meeting and complained that he was hampered in getting sales because he had not got a computer tablet to do a quote in front of a customer.

At another meeting, the head of sales asked the complainant to consider his position and resign. However, in response, the salesman asked his managers to “stop looking back” and he said that he could do better in future.

On February 21st, the salesman was requested to attend a meeting to discuss the fact that he had not closed any sales and was dismissed on February 23rd.

At the WRC, the salesman agreed his “closure rate” was too small. He said he “realised that I struggled to get the right information from people…customers would get frustrated when I took so long giving them a quote”.

The dealership told the WRC that sales representatives are paid €24,000 per annum and can earn up to €36,000 in commission giving an overall package of up to €60,000. The dealership stated that around half of annual sales are achieved during the first quarter each year.