A truck driver breached OHS policies and endangered his employer’s relationship with a major contractor when he took his kids to work on a delivery run, a commission has found in upholding his dismissal.
After taking his children on a delivery run from Adelaide to Mildura CJ Curran & SL Curran summarily dismissed the worker sighting it was not only a dangerous breach of safety but it put the contract at risk with the client.
The worker claimed unfair dismissal, arguing his conduct wasn’t serious enough to warrant immediate dismissal.
Commissioner Roe heard the employer commenced its contract with Toll earlier this year and agreed to follow all Toll policies and procedures, which included prohibiting unauthorised passengers, particularly children, from travelling in heavy vehicles at any time.
He heard the policies also stated that children under 15 were not permitted in any operational areas, and all Curran employees had undergone an induction and been tested on these policies.
On the day of the incident, the worker had received a text message reminding him of Toll’s policy on children, he heard.
“However, in dealing with a dismissal under the small business code I am not required to decide whether or not the conduct was sufficiently serious to justify immediate dismissal rather I am required to decide whether or not the employer held that belief on reasonable grounds.
“The employer had reasonable grounds to believe that the viability of the business was at risk if the employment was not terminated immediately.”
Not only does this not pass the common sense test (why would you take your kids in a truck while working?), it shows again that the commission will use it’s judgement in a common sense manner. You can protect your business by removing a worker such as this one and feel at ease.