By Gordon Deegan
A van driver for a Dublin based transport firm who failed to show for work on his "fed-up days" has been awarded €2,000 for his unfair dismissal.
In the case, the CEO of the transport company sacked the driver in May of last year after he had not shown up to work for eight working days and "three fed-up" days over a three month period.
The man has successfully sued for unfair dismissal at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) which has also ordered the company to pay the man €879 in unpaid wages along with the €2,000 unfair dismissal award.
In his claim for unfair dismissal, the van driver argued that there was no reason to dismiss him.
He said that he was never put through a disciplinary process and had no previous warnings.
The van driver said that he missed a few days and called them his "fed-up days".
He said that when he turned up for work on May 15th at 7am, his boss told him that he had no work.
According to the firm, the worker agreed with his employer’s perception that he was unhappy and disillusioned with the job and accepted that he could not continue to just not show up for work when he did not feel like coming in.
The employer stated that the driver accepted that his job was in danger.
Finding that the man was unfairly dismissed, WRC Adjudication Officer, Marie Mulcahy stated that irrespective of the actions of the driver or the degree of wrongdoing, the employer "must follow fair procedures".
Ms Mulcahy said that the driver "was deprived of any process conforming to the requirements of natural justice.
"There was no advance notice that dismissal was being contemplated, no process, no right of representation offered and no appeal procedure provided”.
Ms Mulcahy stated that the driver contributed to his dismissal by withholding information from the employer regarding his return to work where his employer had to engage an alternative employee and previous instances of un-notified absences.
The employer told the WRC that it was with-holding the €879 in unpaid wages as 12 TVs under the care of the driver went missing while he was transporting them for a client to an An Post mail centre on April 29th 2017.
The transport firm alleged that a Garda raid of the driver’s home uncovered 12 TVs on the week commencing May 3rd 2017,
The company alleged that CCTV footage showed the driver and his son loading 72 TVs into the driver’s van but offload only 60 TVs to the mail centre.
The company stated that the owner of the TVs was seeking €2,400 in compensation for the missing TVs.
The employer was unaware of the missing TVs incident when dismissing the driver and stated that that incident alone would have led to his dismissal.
However, Mr Mulcahy stated that €879 deduction in wages was unlawful and ordered that the company pay the driver the amount within 42 days.
Ms Mulcahy said that "it is for the Gardaí and judicial bodies to investigate the complainant’s actions on April 29th".