A Dublin postman was sacked by An Post after being caught having his girlfriend deliver post on his postal round.
Keith Guiney was sacked by An Post following a complaint from a member of the public who received incorrect post on March 30, 2011 and queried why a young woman in a baseball cap was delivering the post.
However, in spite of his subsequent sacking in September 2011, Mr Guiney remained on full pay for two-and-a-half more years after An Post lost Mr Guiney’s appeal documents before his appeal was finally thrown out in March 2014 and he was finally dismissed.
Mr Guiney brought an unfair dismissal case against An Post to the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT).
In its report, it records that An Post discovered that
Mr Guiney received help to deliver his post on three other days in addition to March 30, 2011.
The EAT has described An Post’s handling of Mr Guiney’s appeal as “appalling”.
The error in not immediately dealing with the appeal and continuing to pay Mr Guiney for 30 months may have cost An Post around €100,000 as the average pay to post men and women is between €38,500 and €39,000.
The EAT report records that as a result of the complaint to An Post’s Delivery Service Unit (DSU) on March 30, 2011 by a member of the public, Mr Guiney’s team lead, listed as TM, went to the location and approached the young woman and asked why she had An Post items and where was Mr Guiney.
In reply, Mr Guiney’s girlfriend told TM that she was Mr Guiney’s sister and that Mr Guiney was not around.
TM took possession of the letter bag and took it back to the DSU where he counted 85 undelivered letters.
TM told the tribunal that he phoned Mr Guiney who told him that he was at his mother’s house having a break.
This was disputed at the tribunal by Mr Guiney, who said that he was around the corner from the post round.
Mr Guiney was dismissed in September 2011.
An Post’s group HR director, PK told the tribunal that he received the appeal in September 2011, but “appears to have lost the file thereafter until March 2014”.
Mr Guiney was finally dismissed in March 2014.
In his evidence before the tribunal, Mr Guiney said that he had a knee injury on the morning and telephoned his girlfriend to help with the delivery.
Mr Guiney admitted to having an ongoing addiction problem and having to attend for methadone every day.
In its determination, the EAT reported that the ultimate decision to dismiss was reasonable and that the dismissal was not unfair.