The complainant commenced work with G4S Security Services as a sales consultant in 1991. She was promoted to Operations Manager in 1998. The complainant was out sick between October 2001 and January 2002 and on her return she agreed with G4S Security Services to change to working a three day week.
G4S Security Services was taken over in 2003 and the new structure had two divisions whereas the old one had three. As the business grew a new person was taken on as a Contracts Manager. The complainant, the new Contracts Manager and their manager met on a weekly basis. The complainant and Contracts Manager shared an office and when the Contracts Manager received a call from their manager on her mobile the Contracts Manager would leave the office. The weekly meetings were shifted to Friday, which was one of the two days the complainant did not work. There were no minutes kept of the meetings.
By September / October 2004 the complainant felt out of the loop. At a staff conference in November both the Contracts Manager and her boss were shown on the organisation chart but the complainant was not. The company stated this was because the meeting had an ‘operational focus’.
The complainant was not informed of another meeting with a potential client in December 2004, but some days later was asked to price the job. She asked her boss if she was to be made redundant but was assured that he had plenty of work for her.
In January 2005, the Contracts Manager organised training for staff, which was previously the role and responsibility of the complainant . A short time after this, she heard from a staff member in administration that she was to be moved out into an open plan office. The company claimed this was after the merger with Securicor and there was a problem with office space.
The complainant organised a meeting with her boss to discuss her role and responsibility. Her boss asked where she thought she would fit and she said her job was in sales but he said there would be no “double jobbing”. He advised her that customer service would be part of her new role but she was unhappy as she perceived this a demotion. Further to this meeting, the complainant had a question about some of the contracts she was asked to work on and was advised to check it with the Contracts Manager. The complainant went on holidays and didn’t return as she felt her position had become untenable.
In March 2005, at a meeting with the Managing Director, the complainant claimed she was told that she lost her management position when she changed to a three day week and was now junior to the Contracts Manager. He asked if she wished to return to work in the position of Contracts Manager. He said there was no more he could do for her.
Compensation for Constructive Dismissal
The Tribunal concluded that the complainant was constructively dismissed and awarded her €55,000.
Case: Stephanie Cullen v G4S Security Services (Ireland) Ltd, Employment Appeals Tribunal, 2007
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