Sims fertility clinic ordered to pay former employee €23k compensation over unfair dismissal

One of the country’s best-known fertility clinics, Sims Clinic must pay a former Egg Donation Programme Co-ordinator €23,160 compensation for her unfair dismissal.

This follows Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) Adjudicator, Catherine Byrne, ordering Sims Clinic Ltd to pay Aoife Murphy the €23,160 concerning her unfair dismissal during the pandemic.

The Sims Clinic told the WRC that it made Ms Murphy redundant in November 2020 after it suspended its Egg Donation Programme following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fertility business – with clinics in north and south Dublin, Cork and Carlow – stated that the restrictions on foreign travel meant that it was not able to arrange for egg donation procedures to be carried out and the service was suspended.

The clinic stated that as a result, patient throughput reduced by 83pc and documents submitted to the WRC show that revenues at the Sims Clinic would reduce by €1.5m in 2020 and by up to €3.5m in 2021.

A Human Resources Manager for the Sims Clinic told the WRC that in addition to the Covid-19 travel restrictions, the closure of a clinic in Ukraine with whom they had collaborated led to huge difficulties for the business.

The HR manager stated the Ukraine clinic stopped taking new patients from Dublin and gave notice that the contract between the two parties would not be renewed.

The HR manager stated a clinic in the UK agreed to provide services to between five and seven clients per month, whereas the Ukraine clinic had treated up to 25 per month.

Because of this, the Egg Donation team was restructured and the staff reduced from seven to two and Ms Murphy’s job of Egg Donation Programme Co-ordinator was made redundant.

Publicly available accounts for Sims Clinic Ltd show that revenues totalled €10.4m for the 12 months to the end of June 2020 compared to revenues of €14.99m for the prior year.

The company last year paid out a dividends of €2.5m as it recorded an operating loss of €133,305 compared to an operating profit of €1.1m in the prior year. The company’s pre-tax profit of €830,277 for the 12 months to the end of June 2020 was largely due to a dividend received of €1m.

At the end of June 2020, the business employed 84.

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