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Used car salesman awarded €12,500 after bumping into company director while on unauthorised holiday

A used car salesman who was fired after running into one of his company’s directors while on a sun holiday in Portugal that had not been approved by his employer has been awarded €12,500.

The Workplace Relations Commission ruled that the salesman, Mr GM, had been unfairly dismissed from his job by Bill Griffin Motors which operates a used car superstore at Kingswood Cross, Dublin 22.

Mr GM had requested annual leave approximately three months in advance from the company’s accountant, who told him to discuss the matter with the firm’s managing director, Mr DG.

Mr GM said Mr DG told him he wanted a full crew of staff working the week he wanted to take a holiday as there was a family wedding on the same week.

He claimed Mr DG said the situation should be “fine” and to talk again before the relevant date after he explained that his partner had already booked the holiday for a trip which had no cancellation policy.

Mr GM said none of the directors were available when he tried to raise the matter again about 10 days before he was due to go on holiday.

He claimed he found a colleague sitting at his desk when he returned to work from.

Mr GM said his line manager told him that nobody knew where he had been for the previous week, although he had bumped into one of the company’s directors while on holiday. He was sent home to await a call from one of the directors but only found out subsequently from Revenue that his employment was recorded as having ended.

Mr GM said he was not subject to any investigation or meeting before being fired nor was he advised his job was at risk.

Ms O’Driscoll, Workplace Relations Commission adjudication officer, ruled that his dismissal was unfair “on both procedural and substantive grounds” and awarded him total compensation of €12,500 to reflect his contribution to his dismissal.

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