Employment – Civil Service

Hosford, Pascal v Minister for Social Protection
High Court, 6/2/2015, Noonan J, [2015] IEHC 59, 2013 No 805 JR

The Applicant in this case was recently unsuccessful in the proceedings instituted against the Minister for Social Protection.

The Applicant is a higher executive officer in the Department of Social Protection and claimed that his reassignment from the Scope section to the People Point section was invalid and was made by the Respondent mala fide for an improper purpose.

The Applicant states that he was told he was being reassigned due to his difficulty in accepting management decisions and carrying out management instructions.

This was particularly in relation to implementing policy in relation to appropriate classification of individuals working in companies of which they were directors or shareholders and whether as such they should be classified as self-employed for PRSI purposes, a policy which the applicant considered unlawful.

The court considered whether the claim was moot as the Applicant had subsequently been reassigned to another section within the Department and he had not complained about this reassignment.

Mr Justice Noonan held that the Applicant made a number of very serious allegations against the Respondent which were notably unsupported by any evidence other than his own opinion.

The Respondent’s submissions regarding their reasons for the first reassignment were entirely valid and legitimate and the Applicant sought to abuse the process of the court to ventilate issues that are of no relevance to the proceedings. The Application was accordingly dismissed.

This case illustrates the importance of exhausting internal procedures in employment related matters before having recourse to external remedies. It also illustrates the necessity of objective evidence rather than relying on one’s own subjective analysis of events.

As employment law specialists at Sinnott Solicitors we can thoroughly advise on all aspects of employment related issues. Call us today at +353-1-406 2862 or email us here.