Car tester awarded €47,500 for unfair dismissal

A firm that operates the National Car Test has been ordered to pay €47,500 to a car tester unfairly dismissed by the company.

It follows the Employment Appeals Tribunal finding that the decision by Applus Car Testing Services to dismiss Richard Mark Matthews “was unreasonable in all of the circumstances”.

Mr Matthews lost his job after a whistleblower alleged that he drove vehicles belonging to other people to the test centre for testing and tested them himself.

Paul Henry of Siptu represented Mr Matthews at the hearing and said that he had been treated “atrociously” by his employer and his sacking “was a knee-jerk reaction by Applus to an RTÉ Prime Time programme on the firm”, broadcast in May 2011.

Mr Matthews was the team leader at Applus’ Drogheda centre and was questioned by the firm on tests carried out on 12 vehicles between January 2010 and August 2011.

Following a meeting on November 24, 2011, Mr Matthews was dismissed by letter on November 29, with the firm stating that Mr Matthews was in breach of the code of integrity.

The tribunal heard Mr Matthews never drove cars to the centre for tests and that the allegations “were untrue and that he believed he was targeted by a disgruntled colleague who did not like taking instructions from him”.

The tribunal found that the decision to dismiss Mr Matthews was unreasonable in all the circumstances.


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