Man unfairly dismissed from security firm following attack

Fintan Walsh


Fintan Walsh

Guard, who was awarded �3,000, claimed that he was assaulted by two students
A SECURITY guard was awarded more than €3,000 after he was unfairly dismissed from a firm, following an assault by two students four years ago.

A SECURITY guard was awarded more than €3,000 after he was unfairly dismissed from a firm, following an assault by two students four years ago.

Thomas Moore took a case against Sword Risk Services Ltd for unfair dismissal, which was heard at a tribunal on December 19, 2013, and May 28, 2015, in Castleconnell.

He was awarded €1,870.32 under the Unfair Dismissals Act and was subsequently awarded €1,500, following an employer appeal, under Terms of Employment (Information) Act.

Mr Moore worked as a night-shift static guard for a student accommodation facility.

The tribunal heard that in the early hours of September 9, 2011, Mr Moore — the claimant — saw two students trying to enter a unit, against the resident’s will. He claimed that after escorting them out of the premises, he was assaulted, punched to the ground and kicked.

A patrol van driver, the tribunal heard, was notified by head office that gardaí were trying to enter the facility, at 4.30am. He then let the gardaí in.

Sword Risk — the respondent — held the position that Mr Moore then appeared in a “dishevelled state”, with no high-viz jacket and blood on his shirt, and was not readily available. It was stated that the driver was of the opinion that Mr Moore had scratched his cheek off a tree branch.

The respondent’s position was that Mr Moore told the driver that after he was assaulted, he retrieved a “metal implement” from his car and pursued the students, and that he hit one of them with it. The tribunal heard that the implement was then taken off him and brought to the supervisors.

All supervisors were notified of the attack, following the incident. Two days later, Mr Moore notified the driver that he was unfit to work. It was the respondent’s position that the supervisor at the facility management company did not want Mr Moore to return to the facility.

After gardaí investigated the incident, they notified the company that they were not taking proceedings against the guard, on December 5.

The respondent then launched an investigation on December 20, with an independent solicitor, after suspending Mr Moore on December 12.

After meeting with witnesses and meeting Mr Moore on January 31, 2012, they concluded that he had breached “several directions” by the company, and that they “were severe breaches that would allow the severest disciplinary action”.

The investigator was not aware of the company’s procedures, nor was he aware of the directions given by the company. Mr Moore, the tribunal heard, was not given the opportunity to quiz the witnesses, and he was only able to comment on the completed investigation report. He was then dismissed on February 3, 2012.

The tribunal found that the dismissal was “procedurally unfair”, and that there was an “undue delay” between the assault, the suspension, the investigation and the dismissal.