A relative of mine has worked at a small company for the past 10 years as a senior design engineer.

The MD (and owner) of the company asked him to go and spend the day with another employee filling out some paperwork, which wouldn't normally be part of his job spec. When he returned to his office a few hours later his desk, work computer, everything was cleared out. The MD has stated that there is no longer a need for research, and commented that this employee wouldn't be here for much longer.

However this seems quite intimidatory and I would guess this is an attempt to avoid paying redundancy by the employer. This employer has a history of employee lawsuits matters.

Can anyone suggest a course of action? Or are there grounds for legal action?

Location: Ireland.

1 Answer 1


Not very nice of the employer, actually quite cowardly. Being not nice and cowardly is not against the law.

Being in the EU, and having been employed for ten years, the company will have duties to find a different position in the company at the same pay, and only when that fails, the employee can be laid off and will have a reasonable amount of notice, plus a reasonable amount of redundancy pay due to him.

Unfortunately, he can expect only the legal minimum if the company behaved like this already. Good companies would provide a generous redundancy pay, plus pay for you to have any agreements checked by an employment lawyer of your choice - which means the employee can be sure they are not ripped off, and the employer is sure they cannot be sued for any reason.

Obviously if they want him to quit, then the one single thing your relative mustn't do is to quit. Let them pay him. Plenty of time to look for a new job.

  • Your answer may be sound, but IMHO your last paragraph should be removed - its not legal advice, nor nor do I believe it belongs here.
    – davidgo
    Sep 24, 2018 at 6:28
  • @davidgo: I disagree. "Do not quit" is legal advice, as quitting nearly always has a drastic effect on one's legal rights. For example, where I live, if I quit my job I get nothing (other than cashing out my time off), but if I am fired, I get my time off, plus $450 a week for 26 weeks.
    – sharur
    May 2, 2019 at 15:41
  • @sharur - interesting and valid point that had not occurred to me. I still disagree - The way it was worded seemed to me to be to "stay out of spite". I put to you - especially in light of the question - a more useful last paragraph might read " It would be worthwhile seeing an employment lawyer about a claim of constructive dismissal", possibly mentioning the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977.
    – davidgo
    May 2, 2019 at 19:18

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