Social care manager settles High Court action against employer

Aodhan O'Faolain

Reporter:

Aodhan O'Faolain

Social care manager settles High Court action against employer

Social care manager settles High Court action against employer

A social care manager with St John of God has settled proceedings taken against his employer over what he claimed was a flawed disciplinary process against him.

The case by Mark Smyth, a social care manager with St John of God Community Services Dublin South East, was settled following a mediation, the High Court heard on Thursday.

The matter came before Ms Justice Leone Reynolds who was told that the parties had resolved the matter and that the case could be adjourned to all the terms of the settlement agreement, which is confidential, be implemented.

The judge agreed to adjourn the matter to a date later this month.

Last month Mr Smyth secured a temporary injunction preventing his employer from conducting disciplinary meeting, called arising out of the contents of an investigation into certain allegations against his client.

In his action Mr Smyth, who denied all allegations of wrongdoing against him, claimed the complaints that were made about him in 2015 were vague and lacking in specifics. Those complaints were made after he raised issues with his manager about false reports made by others working at a special school for young people operated by St John of God.

Represented in court by Frank Callinan SC, appearing with Johanna Mehigan Bl and Conor Duff Bl, Mr Smyth claimed the investigation upon which the disciplinary process was based was highly flawed.

It was claimed the employer brought in an independent HR professional to conduct an investigation arising out of allegations made against Mr Smyth. That investigation took place between 2016 and 2019. During the course of the investigation the investigator made a complaint about Mr Smyth to his employer.

Mr Smyth was cleared of any wrongdoing at a very early stage by his employer in regards to the complaint by the investigator. The investigator ultimately cleared Mr Smyth of the allegations against him.

However, it was claimed that the investigator made certain adverse findings, which the investigator was not entitled to do, about Mr Smyth. Arising out of those adverse findings, an investigation was launched by Mr Smyth's employer. His lawyers called on John of God to cease the investigation. 

In correspondence, John of God denied the investigation is flawed and said it was entitled to proceed with it, resulting in the bringing of the High Court action.