An employee recently requested that his employer dismiss him. When asked why he wanted to be let go the employee explained that he wished to spend more time at home helping his sick wife with the children and assisting with the domestic duties. The employer was considering doing as the employee asked as he felt that the motives behind the request were practical.
The employer, however, took a few moments to think about the request. He concluded that the employee had been a diligent worker and so was reluctant to see the employee leave his role. In the hopes that it might encourage the employee to consider changing his mind the employer decided to offer the employee a small pay rise and to be more flexible with him in terms of his working hours. After the employer made the offer the employee became frustrated and again asked the employer to fire him.
The employer was confused as to why the employee was so adamant that he wanted to be fired as he had always seemed quite satisfied in his role. The employer also wondered why the employee didn’t simply resign if he wanted to go so badly. The employer decided to seek some advice on the situation prior to making his final decision. After some research the employer realised that this request was a common one and that motives behind this type of request were typically financially-based ones.
If an employee leaves employment voluntarily and without a reasonable cause then he or she may be disqualified from getting Jobseeker’s Benefit for 9 weeks, however, if the employee is dismissed from employment then he would be entitled to claim benefits earlier.
Social Welfare Fraud is a serious offense.
The employee became extremely angry when the employer refused to dismiss him. Had the employer satisfied the request and fired the employee the individual could have lodged a case for unfair dismissal. The employer was fortunate that he sought advice after receiving the request from the employee. Due to the fact that the employee had not done anything to warrant his dismissal it is likely that a claim would have succeeded in an Employment Appeals Tribunal scenario – Unfair Dismissal can lead to an award of up to 2 years’ salary.
Employers receiving requests along these lines should seek advice from Irish Employment Legislation specialists prior to taking any action.