Compensation for sacked K&S driver
K&S Freighters has been ordered to pay compensation to, but not re-employ, a sacked driver over an in-cab camera tampering issue.
The lens of the safety camera in question had been sprayed with a substance, impeding clear coverage, but was otherwise undamaged and the driver denied spraying it.
It was noted that the driver was a vocal and repeated objector at tool box meetings to the Drive Cam camera system on privacy grounds.
This was despite K&S installing them at Air Liquide’s request as part of a contract that had a strong operating safety and health and safety component. The initiative aimed to assist in incident analysis and to enhance driver training and development and the reasons explained to all relevant drivers.
In the Fair Work Commission (FWC) decision for Millard v K&S Freighters, commissioner David Gregory found that the K&S’s case against the driver was circumstantial and there had been a number of shortfalls in its inquiry.
Those included: a lack of investigation into and evidence of what the sprayed substance was; the likelihood of another person being involved; and a process that “seems to have lacked objectivity from the outset”. This led Gregory to view the sacking as “harsh and unreasonable”. Otherwise, K&S was found to have followed the necessary procedures under the Act.
While aspects of his behaviour and work performance “appear to have been viewed favourably”, including properly checking vehicles and assisting colleagues, informing the decision to reject reinstatement was a number of incidents of vehicle damage over the two years of his employment and that he had been “less than cooperative” on training and health and safety matters.
The driver, who had since found less lucrative work, was awarded $46,151 in lieu of reinstatement.