FWC rules former Qube driver dismissal fair


Commission finds valid reason for truckie’s dismissal

FWC rules former Qube driver dismissal fair
FWC states the driver was given an opportunity to respond to the reason for dismissal.

 

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has dismissed an application by a former Qube driver, stating that the termination of his employment was not unfair.

Patrick O’Sullivan, who worked as a truck driver delivering shipping containers and bulk products at Qube’s Altona facility, had stated that his dismissal in January this year was unjust.

The company, on the other hand, had argued that the driver had been negligent in his duties and failed to adhere to the company’s safety and professional standards.

Qube provided detailed overview of the aspects of his employment record, highlighting a number of disciplinary issues, breaches in code of conduct and negligence of duty.

The company argued that throughout its investigations of the various incidents involving O’Sullivan, it had looked at all angles and had been more than fair and reasonable with the driver.

It noted that O’Sullivan had been involved in seven safety-related incidents since his return from workers’ compensation in March 2014 and that it was apparent from the driver’s submissions that blaming someone else for his faults was a "common trait throughout his employment".

Qube stated that reinstating the driver, which was one of his initial demands, would not be appropriate.

The driver had provided his version of events highlighted by the former employer and sought compensation in lieu of reinstatement.

He argued that he was not given written warnings before being fired.

Providing evidence on behalf of O’Sullivan, Transport Workers Union (TWU) organiser Luke McCrone stated that Qube had given more speed-related warnings to other drivers in the past compared to O’Sullivan.

However, the company argued that it had paid O’Sullivan four weeks’ notice despite him being summarily dismissed, and therefore he should not be entitled to any further compensation.

Upon review, the Commission found that O’Sullivan’s dismissal was "not harsh, unjust or unreasonable".

It ruled that there was a valid reason for O’Sullivan’s dismissal, and that he was notified of that reason and given an opportunity to respond.

FWC deputy president Kovacic stated that "based on the material before the Commission, I am satisfied that the various instances of Mr O’Sullivan’s conduct relied upon by the Respondent [Qube] in deciding to terminate his employment did occur".

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