The claimant commenced employment with the respondent on 18 June 2006 and his employment was terminated on 31 March 2009. On 20 February 2009, the claimant received a letter placing him on temporary lay-off due to a downturn in the business. On 23 March 2009, a meeting took place between the claimant and two directors of the respondent company to discuss new work for the claimant. One of the directors suggested that he was interested in having a library installed in his home and suggested that the claimant undertake this work. The respondent considered that this was an offer of alternative employment as the claimant was to be paid at the same rate as he was previously and was to be engaged in the same kind of work. The only difference would be that he would be away from the workshop.
The claimant sent letters to the respondent on 25, 27 and 31 March 2009 and the claimant’s solicitor also wrote to the respondent. There were no replying letters but the claimant and the respondent did speak a number of times. The respondent contended that the claimant had neither been dismissed nor made redundant, but that there was a job there for him at all times.
The claimant did not consider this offer as an offer of return to work with the respondent but as an offer to work for the director as an individual. In his final letter, he informed the respondent that he considered he had been made redundant and did not receive a reply to this letter. The claimant sought statutory redundancy from the respondent but did not receive a reply to his demands.
The Tribunal was satisfied that the claimant’s lay-off period had progressed to a redundancy situation in accordance with section 12 of the Redundancy Payments Act, 1967. The Tribunal did not accept that an offer of reasonable alternative employment was made to the Respondent and in any event, it was not in compliance with section 13 of the Redundancy Payments Act, 1967 or in writing. It was found that the respondent was not unfairly dismissed so his claim under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2007 failed. The Tribunal awarded payment of a lump sum redundancy payment under the Redundancy Payments Acts, 1967 to 2007.