Com­pen­sa­tion for sacked K&S driver

Owner Driver - - News -

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.

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