Prior to the termination of the claimant’s employment, he signed a waiver/declaration barring him from bringing any claims (with the exception of personal injury claims) upon accepting his redundancy package. The claimant argued that he signed up to the terms of the agreement out of fear that he would lose his job without securing some or all of those payments. He claimed that he was threatened a number of times that his ex-gratia payment would be taken away in the event he did not agree to the termination package. The claimant also argued that he was not given adequate notice of the content of the declaration; that he was not advised to seek appropriate independent advice; and that he was placed under duress to sign the declaration at a time of personal emotional vulnerability.
The respondent company contended that the claimant was kept appraised of the process up to his cessation and had received appropriate advice prior to accepting the contents of the letter. The Tribunal heard evidence that the claimant was a member of SIPTU and it was from it, as well as from company sources, that he obtained his information and advices.
The Tribunal was satisfied that the claimant’s union was well placed to give appropriate advice to him in relation to the redundancy. There was no evidence that the respondent put any pressure on the claimant to sign the agreement even though he may have found the whole process traumatic. For these reasons, the Tribunal held that it had no jurisdiction to hear the matter.