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A cleaner has secured €7,000 in compensation from her former employer for breach of employment rules

Dublin: The Workplace Relations Commission has ordered a cleaner to pay 7,000 euros in compensation for unlawfully dismissing an employee who took maternity leave. The decision favours the cleaner, who lost her job due to maternity leave. The commission also ordered to pay 1,567 euros in compensation for violations of the law, including unpaid wages and holidays. The verdicit was made against Eco-Swift Environmental Services.

Dawn O’Brien’s case, according to Adjudicating Officer Shay Henry, was clearly in breach of the Maternity Protection Act of 1994.

The commission stated that under this law, an employee on maternity leave is entitled to re-employment under the same contract even if the owner of the establishment changes. The dismissal was discriminatory on the basis of gender. As a result, the commission recommended that 7,000 euros be paid as compensation for 26 weeks.

Claims under the Payment of Wages Act and the Organization of Working Time Act are also not provided. As a result, the commission ruled that a total of 1,567 euros should be paid for various labour law violations.

The commission was convinced that the employer informed them that there was no vacancy at present because of the appointment of a temporary worker.

Ms. O’Brien has been with the firm since October of this year. She took maternity leave in November 2020. When she came back, she was told that she was out of work. She also received a letter saying that she would be fired in June 2021 due to COVID. O’Brien told the tribunal that her employer had caused the problem before she took leave.

No holiday pay, annual leave, or notice pay has been received yet. Everything is due. They also said that they had not received their salary for the work at the time of their dismissal. The work they were doing is now being done by two people.

She said her employer never told her there was a problem at work until she returned from maternity leave.

There was no fair hearing, right of reply, or opportunity to appeal. According to O’Brien, this is a violation of natural justice.

Earlier, there were cleaning contracts with five factories. The employer argued that there is now only one contract, but the commission did not take this into account.

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