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Tech firm founder wins record unfair dismissal claim | Rob Moss

The founder of a music technology firm has won a record unfair dismissal claim worth nearly €0.5 million in Ireland.

Hyph Ireland, previously known as Xhail Group, has been ordered to pay Mick Kiely €440,000 (£376,000) by the Workplace Relations Commission under Ireland’s Unfair Dismissals Act 1977, and €24,000 pay in lieu of notice.

Kiely, who earned €340,000 per year at the music app company he founded in 2013, claimed lost earnings for a 17-month period after the commission decided he could not reasonably mitigate his losses while subject to a non-compete clause.

The entrepreneur claimed his dismissal was “contrived” by Xhail Group which had alleged that his visa status “did not comply with US law”.

The Irish Times reported that in November 2021, the company’s chief of staff emailed that he was “no longer an employee” and was “prohibited from accessing or entering Xhail premises by any means”.

“Please understand it will be considered trespassing if you do so, and Xhail will not treat such an unlawful act mildly,” the email read.

By the following day, Kiely had been blocked from the company computer systems and his email account.

The case centred on how much money was due to Kiely – the company had already acknowledged that the dismissal was unfair.

Kiely argued he was left with significantly reduced earnings after his dismissal because he was subject to a “non-compete clause” restricting him from starting a similar business to…

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