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Man who may have fallen asleep three times at work awarded €4,000

The man involved, a care assistant, disputes his boss’s account of events.

Image: Shutterstock/VGstockstudio

A MAN WHO was dismissed from his job looking after patients in a private psychiatric hospital and nursing home has been awarded €4,000 for unfair dismissal.

This decision was made by the Employment Appeals Tribunal which found that the appellant in the case, who was a care assistant, had been unfairly dismissed by his employer Bloomfield Care Limited.

The patient that he had responsibility for looking after was described as being “extremely paranoid, psychotic, and extremely unpredictable” as well as having a history of violence against women. The patient required constant supervision by a male staff member as he did not sleep through the night.

How did this come about?

This started when the appellant had a change of boss.

His new senior was a psychiatric nurse and a assistant director of the facility that he worked at. She claimed that in the course of her inspections she had discovered the appellant asleep on the job on three separate occasions across different shifts.

The appellant in the case disputes his boss’s claims, and says that rather she had acted aggressively towards him, and refused to give him breaks when he asked for them – something that his former boss had always done.

He received a letter on 12 June 2012 calling him to a meeting on 26 June to investigate the situation. Subsequent to this he received a letter of dismissal.

What was the decision?

The tribunal decided that the appellant was unfairly dismissed. Part of its decision was based on the fact that the respondent in the case, Bloomfield Care Ltd, should have taken action against the appellant sooner after the first incident which it considered to be gross misconduct.

Since they did not take any form of action after the first incident, the later dismissal was not considered in keeping with their disciplinary policy.

Read: €5,000 for worker unfairly sacked in row over brother-in-law’s business

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