Redundancy and ‘temporary’ workers

The Industrial Tribunals in Belfast recently considered the dismissal of a 'temporary' teacher once the substantive post was made redundant.

The Claimant is a teacher of modern languages who had covered various periods of maternity and other leave for the Respondent on an off between 2012 and 2018.

The substantive post-holder of the most recent position being covered by the Claimant accepted voluntary redundancy with effect from August 2018.

The Respondent wrote to the Claimant in May 2018 to advise that the substantive post holder’s position ‘was being suppressed and that there was to be a reduction in the number of full-time equivalent teachers in the school.’  The Claimant was informed that her employment would terminate at the end of June 2018. 

The Industrial Tribunals concluded that the Claimant had accumulated more than two years of continuous service. The Respondent had not followed the statutory procedures for terminating employment.  The dismissal was therefore automatically unfair.

Had the Respondent followed the statutory procedures, it could have saved them from paying out an award of £3,160.88 to the Claimant, never mind their own legal costs.

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Case note: Hambley v. Board of Governors of Enniskillen Royal Grammar 8256/18

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