19 Jul 2016 | 03.45 pm
Baker Boss Awarded €50k After Forced Retirement
Deputy CEO was forced to retire at 65
19 Jul 2016 | 03.45 pm
A former senior executive at Irish Pride Bakeries has been awarded €50,000 by the Workplace Relations Commission after the company forced him to retire at the age of 65, writes Kit Murray.
Jimmy Moran told the WRC that he had commenced employment with Irish Pride in 1969 as a laboratory technician. He later moved to a sales role, and in 1991 Moran was appointed deputy chief executive officer of the company.
At the time his employment with Irish Pride Bakeries ended, Moran was earning just over €6,000 per month and was based in a company facility in the West of Ireland.
Moran told the WRC that the custom and practice of Irish Pride was for employees to work for as long as they wished, citing examples of others who worked with the business into their 80s. In February 2014, he said that he reached an agreement with his manager that he would retire on 11 October 2015, his 66th birthday.
Moran received correspondence in January 2015 informing him that the company was introducing a “clear and coherent retirement policy”, which would require Moran’s retirement on 27 February 2015. It also stated that the company’s mandatory retirement age from January 2015 was 66.
According to Moran, there had been no prior consultation from Irish Pride Bakeries, while at a subsequent meeting with his manager and the company CEO, his bid to continue in employment was declined. Moran left the company on 27 February 2015.
Irish Pride Bakeries did not turn up for Moran’s case hearing in March 2016. Adjudicating on the case, Kevin Baneham, adjudication officer/equality officer with the WRC, noted that the company did not explain the reason behind the deviation in what it purported to be a new retirement policy in the letter Moran received in January 2015.
“According to the respondent’s own letter, the complainant could have continued in employment until 11 October 2015,” Baneham added. He found that Moran was subject to a discriminatory dismissal on the grounds of age in being compelled to retire in February 2015.
Baneham said that he was taking into account the fact that Moran had been planning to retire in October 2015, as well as his years of service, in awarding him €50,000.