Smurfit Kappa has been ordered to pay €17,000 to a staff member it unfairly dismissed arising from alleged unauthorised absences connected to the man serving on a jury panel for a high-profile criminal trial.
In the case, a subsidiary of the multi-national packaging firm, Smurfit Kappa Ireland Ltd sacked Jonathan Hanlon after unauthorised absences arising from the man being called to jury service in February 2014.
Mr Hanlon sued for unfair dismissal and according to the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT), the decision to sack Mr Hanlon “was misplaced, harsh and disproportionate”.
Mr Hanlon was called to be on a jury panel for jury selection for a high-profile trial at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin in February 2014.
The work arrangement at Smurfit Kappa in relation to jury service was that if Mr Hanlon was not required for jury service or finished early on any given day he was to return to work.
The EAT states however that although Mr Hanlon was not required to sit on a jury for any of those days, he failed to attend work on some of them.