Pontypool driver awarded £7k for ‘unfair sacking’

First published in News

A DRIVER from Pontypool has been awarded more than £7,000 in damages after his employers fired him for making a personal errand in the company van.

John Bailey, of Poplar Avenue in New Inn, was told by the owner of Abercarn-based Border Industrial Services that he was fired for going to get car parts for his own personal car while on his way home from work last summer.

Mr Bailey, 58, said he was called into his boss’ office the following morning and was dismissed “on the spot”.

At an employment tribunal hearing in Cardiff yesterday, Judge Alison Frazer concluded Border Industrial Services should award a total of £7,371.75 to Mr Bailey, although with a reduced award of 25 per cent for contributory fault. Judge Frazer had earlier come to the conclusion that Mr Bailey made the errand having previously been instructed not to do so by the company.

Mr Bailey was sacked for gross misconduct on August 27, 2013, after more than six years with the bobcat dealing company. At a previous hearing last month (March), Judge Frazer had told Mr Bailey he should have been presented with a written warning by the company at most, adding Mr Bailey should be compensated for unfair dismissal.

Mr Bailey, who was earning around £316 in gross income a week at Borders, represented himself at the hearing because he said he could not afford a solicitor.

Speaking to the Argus after the hearing, he added: “I’m quite disappointed. I had calculated that they should be paying around £20,000 but that’s how it is.

“All the trouble it has caused me and my family has been unbelievable and unbearable”

At the hearing yesterday, Mr Bailey, and Mark Whitcutt of Roger James, Clements and Partners, on behalf of Borders Industrial Services, came to agreements about various contributing factors to the damages paid, including a start date for Mr Bailey’s employment at Borders.

Mr Bailey has since found work in Newport as an agency driver and says he hopes his temporary six months contract will be made permanent before it expires in October.

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