Hair stylist wins €20k payout in sacking row
A 48-YEAR-OLD hair stylist, who said she had been "left out in the cold", has won more than €20,000 compensation against her former employer for unfair dismissal.
Cecilia Cahill, of Melrose Grove, Bawnog, Clondalkin, Dublin, said that in the freezing winter of 2010, pipes froze in the salon where she worked and she and her boss, Veronica Kennedy, had to boil kettles from five-gallon drums of water to keep the business going.
Ms Kennedy, however, had told her in January 2010 that there were no clients and she had no money to pay her so she had been given her P45 and dismissed.
She had to go to the social welfare and join hundreds in a queue to sign on for work.
Barrister Hugh Byrne told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, yesterday that Ms Cahill had been awarded €20,400 compensation by the Employment Appeals Tribunal against Ms Kennedy, owner of Hair Port, Tower Road, Clondalkin Village.
Peter Leonard, counsel for Ms Kennedy, said the decision of the EAT was being appealed to the Circuit Civil Court.
The two stylists had worked together for 25 years and Ms Kennedy would tell the court Ms Cahill had resigned.
Both women told the court there had been difficulties during the big freeze, especially when the pipes froze solid.
Ms Cahill said her solicitors, Howard Synnott, had made it clear she had not quit her three-day €300-a-week job, which netted her an extra €70-a-week on tips.
Ms Kennedy said things had become so difficult she had no option but to ask Cecilia to "sign on" temporarily and denied the matter of alleged resignation was an attempt to distort the true situation of unfair dismissal.
Judge Deery said there was a direct conflict of evidence between the two women. Ms Cahill had undergone many courses of retraining in an attempt to upskill and get a job outside hairdressing when none was available in the industry.
If there had been any reality of her job still being available, it was highly unlikely she would have chosen to join queues of up to 400 at the welfare offices.
He upheld the Employment Appeal Tribunal award of €20,400 compensation and granted Ms Cahill her costs of the appeal to the Circuit Court.