Claims News

Specsavers Ordered to Pay Former Staff Member €12,000 Wrongful Sacking Compensation

Posted on: September 20th, 2018

The Letterkenny Specsavers branch has been directed to pay €12,000 wrongful dismissal compensation by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) to a Muslim woman who was sacked from her job the day after the Manchester terrorist attack in 2017.

The WRC delivered a ruling against the Specsavers Ltd based in Letterkenny that said it had discriminated against Amina Ferrah, using her religion as justification. Adjudication Officer Emer O’Shea said she was happy to make the ruling as the evidence pointed to the fact that Ms Ferrah’s sacking before the expiration of the standard three-month review represented less favourable treatment on the grounds of religious discrimination.

Ms Ferrah advised the WRC that she was fired from her job on discriminatory grounds as a knee-jerk reaction to her being a Muslim. She went on to say that her employer “may have been overly concerned about public sentiment following the Manchester terror attack and the impact it might have on their business”.

Specsavers strongly denied the discrimination claim and alleged at the hearing, that the decision to fire Ms Ferrah’s from her job on the spot was solely due to her professional performance in the job.

Adjudication Officers of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) are statutorily independent in their decision-making responsibilities as they relate to adjudicating on complaints sent to them by the WRC Director General.

Ms O’Shea said that, in finding that Letterkenny Specsavers did discriminate against Ms Ferrah, it was accepted by the company that reviews of new staff members would be carried out after an initial period of three months employment.

On this occasion, however, there was no official accounts of any professional reviews taking place to back up the company’s contention of ongoing reviews being held. Neither were there any documented accounts of any performance deficits recorded during the period that Ms Ferrah was working at Specsavers Letterkenny shown to the WRC.


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