The Employment Relations Authority has rejected an employee’s claim of unjustified dismissal, after finding that the employer had acted fairly and reasonably in the circumstances.

The employee was in possession of a company vehicle, which he initially used for personal and work-related driving. The employee caused damage to the vehicle, which prompted the employer to revoke the employee’s right to use the vehicle for personal reasons. He was only permitted to use the vehicle for work-related matters.

The employee took exception to this, and threatened to resign. The employer indicated to the employee that he had the right to do this if he wished to.

The employee then asked whether if, instead of the standard two week notice period, he could instead work one week, as he claimed to have a new job lined up.

The employer texted the employee to ask whether he had resigned, and whether he was planning on working his two week notice period or not. No formal resignation had been made by the employee.

A few days later the employer followed up with the employee, again asking if the employee had resigned. This message also informed the employee that if he did not intend to work, then his employment will have been deemed to be abandoned.

The employee brought a personal grievance claim, arguing that he was unjustifiably dismissed.

The Authority rejected this claim, as the employer had done everything they could in the circumstances to reasonably inquire about the employee’s plans regarding his employment, as well as offering the employee information around next steps.

The employee received no compensation for his claim.

If there is confusion around the process for the dismissal of an employee, it pays to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.


Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Alan Knowsley & Matthew Binnie

Litigation team