A SIPTU member has secured an award of €12,000 at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) after she was made redundant following her return to work after a period of maternity leave at Edmundson Electric (Ireland) Limited in Waterford City. SIPTU Workers Rights Centre Advocate, Rachel Hartery, said: “Catherine Connolly was employed by Edmundson Electric in an accounts and administrative role. After returning from maternity leave in early 2021, management decided it no longer needed the same staff and proceeded to make Catherine redundant. “At the WRC hearing it was argued that Catherine could have worked in an alternative role but this was never considered. An offer to work part-time or job share was rejected. At the same time the company took on a Youthreach worker who was subsequently given a permanent position and also hired another employee before the completion of the appeal against our member being made redundant. These facts helped prove that Catherine was manoeuvred out of her employment.”   She added: “The company was found to have not genuinely considered alternatives for Catherine and that her dismissal was unfair. She was awarded €12,000, in addition to the redundancy payment she has already received.” SIPTU member, Catherine Connolly, said: “I am delighted with this result. Mine was a very unfair and completely unnecessary dismissal. The actions taken against me caused great upset to myself and my family. It is a relief that the WRC recognised that my former employer treated me with complete disregard. I would like to thank my SIPTU representatives, especially Rachel Hartery, for their hard work in this case.” Hartery added: “This is a positive decision from the WRC for our member who was treated very badly by her former employer. It demonstrates the value of being a member of a trade union and should encourage workers to join SIPTU to ensure their employment rights are protected.”