Employees who have been dismissed may require legal advice as to whether or not grounds exist to support a claim against their previous employer under unfair dismissal, equality or legislation applicable to their circumstances.

It is important for a claimant to decide whether or not to make a claim against his/her employer at an early stage.  Aside from the time and emotional investment of making such a claim, there are strict time limits within which such claims must be made (usually 6 months).  In order to get the most out of your meeting and for your solicitor to advise you fully, s/he will need to know the full circumstances surrounding the termination of your employment and will need copies of all relevant documentation.

Whilst every case is different, generally speaking, your solicitor will need the following documents to advise you as to whether or not you have a claim:

  1. A brief summary of the history of your employment, including a list of individuals involved and a note of their role within the organisation;
  1. Your original employment contract and any contracts amending same;
  1. Most recent employment law handbook is given to employees;
  1. Your employer’s disciplinary procedure (if not included at No. 2 above);
  1. A copy of all warning letters, reports and findings of investigations;
  1. Copies of all company policies;
  1. If your claim relates to bullying and harassment, copies of all relevant emails; reports/findings from the investigation;
  1. If you suffered a physical injury from any event, copies of all sick notes, medical reports and x-rays.

If you have a soft copy of the documents, we would suggest that you forward them to your solicitor by email in advance of the meeting so that s/he can be fully prepared.

It is important to note it often happens that employees do not have all of the above documents at the time of an initial consultation but that they require legal advice urgently due to the time limits involved.  In such circumstances, if your solicitor is of the view from what you say that you do, in fact, have a claim, s/he could assist you in filing a complaint form in the Workplace Relations Commission to ‘stop the time’ from running which would give you time to obtain all relevant documents.  It is always open to a claimant to withdraw his/her claim prior to a hearing at no risk of having to pay the employer’s legal costs.

Amorys Solicitors has more than 30 years’ experience practising the employment law and successfully represented the plaintiff in the seminal case of McGrath-V-Trintech which established the right in the common law of an ex-employee to claim damages from an employer for psychiatric harm suffered due to stress at work.

If you would like to arrange an initial consultation to discuss whether or not grounds exist for a claim against your employer under unfair dismissal or equality legislation, please contact Deirdre Farrell, partner, Amorys Solicitors deirdre@amoryssolicitors.com, telephone 01 213 5940 or your usual contact at Amorys.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, it has been provided for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Amorys Solicitors is a boutique commercial and private client law firm in Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland.

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