Employee Asked for Resignation Letter after TUPE – Results in Constructive Dismissal

Background to the Complaint

The claimant started her first job in a hotel in 1997. She joined another hotel in 2003 where she was Manager at the time of the dispute.

Following another case against the hotel which was heard by the Employment Appeals Tribunal, employment contracts and HR policies and procedures were put in place at the hotel by the claimant. However, the claimant did not put an employment contract in place for herself.

In early May 2005 the hotel was sold.

The previous owner was not hands-on but the new owner, while he had no previous experience in the hotel business, intended being hands on.

There had been a few issues between the previous owner and the claimant, including missing vacuum cleaners, purchasing a TV and drills for personal use through the hotel (without authorisation), and a few events that didn’t go well.

The previous owner had said to the new owner that perhaps the role was too big for the claimant given her level of experience.

In mid-May the claimant rang the assistant manager and informed her she was unwell.

Three days later the new owner called to her house and asked for her resignation, she claims.
Despite asking the reasons why and following up with 3 letters to her employer, no reasons were given.
A meeting was held in June involving the claimant, the financial controller and the new owner where the new owner asked her how the business could be improved and a plan for the future of the business.
This meeting was held at the end of the claimant’s sick leave.
The claimant claims that she was asked to leave without her belongings and to return a camera belonging to the hotel and provide sick certificates.
She stated she had submitted a cheque for the television and two drills she had purchased through the hotel and that she had previously faxed in the medical certificates.

EAT Finds Constructive Dismissal Did Occur

The Tribunal found that the claimant was constructively dismissed, however, the claimant did not give sufficient evidence of her efforts to mitigate her loss. Consequently, the Tribunal awarded the claimant the sum of €9,550 under the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977-2001.

Case: Anne Marie Kelly v Belmont Hotels Ltd, Employment Appeals Tribunal, 2006

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