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Employer Entitled to Terminate Complainants’ Employment for Repudiatory Acts, but Procedural Failure Renders Dismissals Unfair

posted 1 month ago

Facts:

The Complainants in Ms Roxana Doba v AFM Facilities Limited ADJ-00043540 and Ms Lacramioara Doba v AFM Facilities Limited ADJ-00043189 were mother and daughter who were employed by the Respondent from 3rd April 2017 until 16th September 2022. Both Complainants worked as cleaners, with the mother (Lacramioara) working as a supervisor. They were initially employed by Ashbrook Facilities Management Limited, but transferred to the Respondent company under TUPE on 1st May 2022. The complaints lodged on behalf of the Complainants were virtually identical, leading to the issuing of two very similar decisions.

The Complainants’ position was that “[e]verything started” when they took three weeks of annual leave, which they did every year. They submitted that after they returned from annual leave, they were informed of changes to their place of work and hours of work. The Complainants claimed that they were initially informed that the changes were being made because they took three weeks of annual leave. The Complainants refused to accept the changes because they believed that their hours were still available at their original place of work, and because they regarded the changes as “punishment” for taking three weeks of annual leave which their new manager had informed them was not permitted. They pointed to an email which, they argued, demonstrated that they had been threatened with dismissal if they took their annual leave as planned. They claimed that they were unfairly dismissed by the Respondent when their employment was terminated because they would not accept the changes.

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