Limerick dental worker awarded €12,000

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

A DENTAL hygienist sacked for her alleged involvement in a “cover-up” of inappropriate payments has been awarded €12,000 for unfair dismissal at the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

A DENTAL hygienist sacked for her alleged involvement in a “cover-up” of inappropriate payments has been awarded €12,000 for unfair dismissal at the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

The tribunal found that while it was “likely there were some monetary malpractices” at Medipol - a medical centre for the Polish community in Limerick - evidence presented against Bozena Mateyczyk was of “minimal” value.

The company provides medical services from its John Street clinic, including the dental practice where Ms Mateyczyk - of The Park, Lord Edward Street - was employed.

Two customers had complained in January 2010 of alleged payments that were irregular and “potentially fraudulent”. When interviewed by a company director in February 2010, Ms Mateyczyk’s answers had been “defensive” although the answers “did not imply any guilt or wrongdoing on her part”, the tribunal heard.

The director told Ms Mateyczyk he had two statements alleging she was involved in “covering up” the payments although it emerged that these were verbal accounts only. At a misconduct hearing on February 26, the director put it to Ms Mateyczyk that two colleagues had made allegations that she had “knowingly received money from the sale of antibiotics” and there had been “collusion” between the hygienist and others in the dental practice to detriment of the 
company.

Ms Mateyczyk told the tribunal that she had a declaration from one of these colleagues that no statement had been made against her.

The tribunal found that the decision to dismiss Ms Mateyczyk had been partly based on purported verbal statements by colleagues, one of which was denied.

Ms Mateyczyk was awarded €12,000 for unfair dismissal.