Issues at work can be some of the most trying matters an individual will have to endure as so much of our week is spent at work. It is not unusual in work related disputes for employees to feel very much like the underdog and feel as if they have nowhere to turn for advice and assistance against their Company who is holding all the cards.
None more so than in the case of Mr McGrath. He had been dismissed from his employers Tayto for an allegation of gross misconduct – the facts were disputed at the disciplinary hearing, at Appeal and subsequently at Tribunal.
Mr McGrath was a Trade Union member and Representative and some may say he was made of firmer stuff than your average employee, but this did not change the gravity of the proceedings he was facing and the dire consequences he would face if things do not go his way.
Given his role as a Union member and Representative he of course sought advice and assistance from them throughout the internal processes. Once the Employer had upheld their decision to dismiss the natural course of action was for him to go back to the Union and ask for their advice and assistance in pursuing the matter to a Tribunal.
After jumping through many hoops he was ultimately denied the right to free legal advice and assistance due and owing to him in accordance with his membership as they were of the opinion he did not have a good chance of successfully bringing a claim.
So what does he do? Mr McGrath came to see our Employment Specialist who it has to be said impartially considered his claim and decided to take it on on a No Win No Fee basis.
Not only were we fighting a big company such as Tayto but we also were taking on the Union. On delving deeper into the facts it became apparent that this case was not just one of unfair dismissal but one where Mr McGrath had been discriminated against because of his Union activity.
The Tribunal process was never going to be a smooth one for those very reasons and it involved witness summonsing very Senior Members of the Trade Union for them to be questioned at court. After a gruelling 5 days with witnesses being called on either side the Tribunal chaired by Employment Judge Valentine Adamson concluded that Mr McGrath had been unfairly dismissed and this was directly linked to his membership of the Trade Union and the sterling work he was doing looking after his members.
Mr McGrath left the Tribunal building with in excess of £30,000. Not only had he been publically vindicated and had his name cleared but he had fought back, David conquered over Goliath, with a little help from our Employment Team of course.