FGS Accountant Awarded £25,000 for Unfair Dismissal

Steven Bobson, Europe & Americas Editor
August 27, 2010 /

A former accountant at FGS McClure (financial advisory firm, with offices in Dublin, Belfast and Longford, Ireland) has been awarded £24,634 for unfair dismissal from work after a tribunal found that the company had not followed any redundancy process. Emma McGuigan, the former manager at the Belfast-based accountancy firm was made redundant in January 2009. This happened a month after she had criticized the work of Eric Munro, a partner at the firm, at a meeting and in an email. Munro was the same partner who had selected McGuigan for redundancy.

The stated reason for the accountant’s dismissal: ‘last in, first out’ was found to be incorrect by the tribunal.

BBC News reported that the company, though it accepted that no redundancy process had been followed, argued that even if it had, McGuigan would have been dismissed.

Munro’s decision to make McGuigan redundant was based on a criteria focused on the fee that is generated by each employee. The tribunal found that the criterion was created by Munro.

The tribunal stated that this criterion would not take into account any other potentially fee-earning work that employees may carry out, but only the amount that their clients were bound to pay.

McGuigan was told by the company that ‘you were the last to be employed as a manager within the PPP projects group at Belfast’.

The conclusion of the tribunal was that FGS’s decision not to follow any redundancy process was not an oversight, but deliberate.

It found that staff working with the company was not consulted and no search was conducted for voluntary redundancies.

The tribunal also found that the different partners of the company were using different criteria for redundancies.

McGuigan claimed that she was a victim of discrimination on the basis of her sexual orientation and gender, though the tribunal did not find any evidence to prove this.


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