Northern Ireland

Man awarded £10k by tribunal from Moore firm

Industrial tribunal sign, Belfast
Image caption The tribunal found that Mr Gilkinson was sacked to avoid giving him his rightful redundancy payment

A property company has been ordered to pay almost £10,000 to a former employee who was dismissed without a redundancy payment.

Samuel Gilkinson had worked for WDL Developments (NI) and related companies for 20 years when he was fired in September 2011.

The industrial tribunal found that he was only sacked to avoid giving him his rightful redundancy payment.

It also said that correspondence to Mr Gilkinson had been "fabricated".

This was in order to try and make it look as though he had been in breach of his contract of employment.

WDL Developments (NI) has a registered office in Essex though its sole director, Pamela Moore, has an address at Coagh in County Tyrone.

The firm was previously called SH Moore and WDL Developments.

Helicopter

Earlier this week, three other members of the Moore family were banned from acting as company directors for 10 years for their role in the collapse of another firm SH Moore & Sons.

Samuel Hugh and Lorna Irene Moore and their son, Stephen Jonathan, were the directors of the Pomeroy-based building firm.

It went bust in January 2009 leaving creditors more than £5m short. The Moores spent almost £1m on a helicopter and a rally car which the company could not afford.

The tribunal heard that at one point in 2011 the financial position of WDL Developments (NI) had become so precarious that Mr Gilkinson had to pay for building materials himself and recover the money from his employer when he could.

He said it was clear to him that the firm was looking for ways to avoid having to pay redundancy to the few remaining employees.

For example, he asked Stephen Moore if he could have three weeks off for his wedding anniversary and was told there would be no difficulty about this but that he should put it in writing nearer the time.

When he did that Mrs Moore wrote to him stating that he was receiving a final written warning for failing to carry out certain instructions.

Amongst the allegations was one that Mr Gilkinson had requested three weeks unpaid leave without proper notice.

The tribunal said this charge was "completely untrue" as he had mentioned the leave request months before.

It added that the reason for his sacking was "fictitious" and that he should receive a redundancy payment of £9,600.