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Teacher could not contract out of rights acquired under unfair dismissals legislation

By: Colm Scott Byrne BL

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High Court refuses a statutory appeal and affirms decision of the Labour Court to reinstate a teacher, on the grounds that the contractual provision that the appellant sought to rely on was void as it sought to deprive the employee of rights already acquired under unfair dismissals legislation.

Statutory appeal from the Labour Court - whether an employer and employee can contract out of the statutory protections otherwise provided for under the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 (as amended) - employee had acquired rights by having more than one year’s continuous service as a teacher - subsequent contract purported to take the form of a fixed term contract for a period of approximately eleven months - contractual provisions which purport to deprive an employee of rights which they have already acquired under the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 (as amended) are void in the absence of informed consent - teacher reinstated - appeal dismissed.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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