News Article

latest news in employment law

Sacked truck driver gets $13,000 in ERA

Published 01 Dec 2015

The ERA has recently ruled that a sacked truck driver was unjustifiably dismissed for breaching road rules and using "aggressive and offensive language" towards a client.

The transport company sacked the driver for serious misconduct involving a breach of road rules; particularly driving with an unrestrained child, and abusing a manager of a client company calling him an 'idiot' and asking if he was 'on the rags'.

The driver subsequently raised a personal grievance which escalated to the ERA. The Authority’s ruling said that the company failed to follow proper procedure in his dismissal, leading the ERA to order the company to pay the driver $7,956 as lost wages, and $5,100 in compensation.

A summary of facts reported that the transport company had failed in its duties to follow fair process with respect to their dismissal procedures. The company had failed to properly investigate the facts, failed to support evidence justifying serious misconduct, had failed to explore alternative disciplinary options, pre-determined the outcome and had not informed the driver at any point that dismissal was a potential outcome of the investigation.

Once again an all too common theme, failure to follow correct discipline and dismissal process hits the headlines in the ERA.

Bailey v PTS Logistics Ltd 23 December 2014 [2014] NZERA Wellington 134