Irish financial technology company Glantus has agreed a settlement with its former chief growth officer who had complained of unfair dismissal from his €100,000-per-year post.
Thomas Hackett had claimed he was sacked without cause in September 2021, denying him a "substantial equity package" he said was promised to him by Irish tech entrepreneur Maurice Healy when he was recruited.
He has now agreed to withdraw his statutory complaints with the Workplace Relations Commission against Glantus Ireland Ltd under the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 and the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.
At a brief hearing this morning, Mr Hackett's solicitor, Michael Kennedy of Byrne Wallace, confirmed: "Very late last night, matters were resolved."
Michael Doyle of A&L Goodbody, representing Glantus, confirmed that this was the position.
The settlement terms were not disclosed.
Adjudicating officer Breiffni O’Neill said he would note the agreement in the case file and keep it open until next April for the parties to finalise matters.
The company and its former executive had been set for a major legal clash beginning with two full days of hearings this week, with senior counsel Lorna Lynch instructed for the company and Pádraig Lyons BL to argue for Mr Hackett.
At a preliminary hearing in September this year, the tribunal heard Mr Hackett's gross salary before his dismissal was €100,000, with expenses of €500 a month.
Mr Lyons told the tribunal that his client had got a phone call from the CEO, Mr Healy ten days prior to the company’s launch on the London Stock Exchange telling him there had been "a mistake" with his share options certificate.
"You’ve only been with the company eight months and you don’t deserve to have your share options vest upon the IPO," Mr Healy was alleged to have told the executive.
Mr Lyons said his client secured an undertaking for a six-month notice clause in his contract in return for agreeing to the longer vesting period.
Mr Hackett then relocated to his native Boston and was presented with an "at-will" US employment contract in August 2021, Mr Lyons said.
There was "radio silence" when his client raised issues with the company’s HR officer.
"What then happens is that on the 9 September 2021 [the HR officer] calls Mr Hackett and sacks him. No reason, no warning, nothing," Mr Lyons said.
He said his client had later received a letter stating that the company had "assessed, monitored and evaluated performance" in respect of Mr Hackett and "didn’t find his skills to be a good match".
"Mr Hackett knew nothing of this and didn’t have an opportunity to contribute to it at all," he said.
There was extensive legal argument on the previous hearing date over the question of whether Mr Hackett’s employment had lasted the full year required to make a claim under the unfair Dismissals Act.
Ms Lynch argued Mr Hackett’s original employment contract began on 1 October 2020 but was then backdated by the company to Saturday 26th September that year – making Monday 28 September 2020 his first day.
The company’s position was that the complainant had been given notice of termination on 9 September 2021 and was paid six months’ pay in lieu of notice, meaning he had less than a year’s service.
Mr Lyons contended that his client had been working for the company from September 15th 2020, when his client attended a virtual strategy meeting.
He added that because Mr Hackett had a contractual entitlement to a six-month notice period, the correct termination date was the date of the payment on September 29th and not the date of the notice informing him of the intention to pay.