Employment LawGeneral News

Statutory redundancy awarded €20,000 after employees safety fears were overlooked

By March 13, 2024 No Comments
Statutory Redundancy

A woman, who previously worked alongside Urantsetseg Tserendorj, a cleaner tragically murdered in Dublin, has been awarded €20,000 for statutory redundancy. This comes after her employer, Bidvest Noonan, dismissed her concerns about safety late at night in Dublin Docklands.

The adjudicator from the Workplace Relations Commission found the company’s response to the employee’s safety worries as shockingly inappropriate. The employee, Rodica Buga, lost her job in 2022 without statutory redundancy compensation after nearly two decades with the company, following her refusal to accept a reassignment she felt unsafe about.

The heart of the issue was the location of her new work assignment and the absence of secure parking. This concern was heightened by the tragic fate of her colleague, Ms. Tserendorj, who was attacked and killed in January 2021. Buga, who self-represented at a tribunal, highlighted her unease with the unsafe parking situation and a change in job duties.

Despite offers to cover on-street parking costs, Buga felt this did not address the safety concerns, especially given her past assault in the same area. The company, represented by the Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation, argued that the new location was close and that Buga refused even a trial period. However, the tribunal noted the company did not offer evidence of alternative safety measures like taxi services, which they claimed were available.

Ultimately, the adjudicator deemed Buga’s refusal to accept the transfer as reasonable under the circumstances, emphasizing the significant change in her working conditions related to safety. As a result, she was awarded a redundancy payment based on her long service, though a claim for notice pay was rejected.

This case highlights the critical importance of addressing employee safety concerns and the potential consequences of failing to do so.

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