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Employee Awarded Highest Ever Compensation for Unfair Dismissal by WRC

posted 1 month ago

The Workplace Relations Commission (“WRC”) has made its highest ever unfair dismissal award to an employee in Michael Kiely v Hyph Ireland Limited ADJ-00037708. The Respondent in this case initially disputed that the Complainant was unfairly dismissed, but on the last day of hearing it accepted that it unfairly dismissed the Complainant, and the matter was reduced to a consideration of the quantum of the Complainant’s financial loss.

Facts: The Complainant was CEO, Chairman and founder of Score Music Interactive Limited which, in May 2021 changed its name to Xhail Ireland Limited, and later (in August 2022) to Hyph Ireland Limited (the “Respondent”). He commenced employment with the Respondent on 20th June 2013 and his employment terminated on 19th November 2021. The Complainant’s position was that his dismissal was contrived on the basis of an allegation that his visa status was not in compliance with US law. He was simply informed by email on 19th November 2021 that he was no longer an employee of the company. He was also informed that he was prohibited from accessing or entering Xhail premises “by any means unless accompanied by an Xhail employee” and that it would be considered trespass to do so and “Xhail will not treat such an unlawful act mildly.” The Complainant was locked out of his email and his access to other company information was blocked from 20th November 2021.

The Complainant’s salary was €13,090.43 gross per fortnight, €340,351.18 per annum. The Complainant calculated his financial loss arising from his dismissal as approximately €478,000.

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