Bus company did nothing wrong in sacking rude driver
CT PLUS was within its rights to sack a bus driver for gross misconduct, after he swore, missed stops
and drove over the speed limit, an employment and discrimination tribunal has ruled.
Richard Battle was sacked by the bus company earlier this year after a complaint from a passenger brought to light a host of issues.
Mr Battle said the dismissal was unfair and argued that he should have been given a warning and that dismissal was too harsh a punishment.
But the tribunal sided with CT Plus.
‘Having watched the CCTV footage and read the investigation report, the notes of the disciplinary hearing and the appeal hearing, the tribunal is quite satisfied that the applicant’s conduct on the day in question when driving the number 71 bus could amount to gross misconduct,’ tribunal chairman Jason Hill said.
‘Furthermore, the invitation to the disciplinary
hearing made it quite clear what the respondent would regard as gross misconduct and the possible consequences of a finding of gross misconduct.
‘The tribunal has no hesitation in concluding that the finding of gross misconduct was entirely within the range of reasonable responses, based upon the evidence available.’
The problems came to light in April, after a passenger complained that Mr Battle had missed her stop and had then been rude to her.
When CT Plus viewed all the CCTV from that journey, they found that Mr Battle had made a number of errors, including repeatedly speeding, failing to issue a ticket to a passenger and being rude.
Mr Battle argued that the company had been trying to get rid of him and had been trawling through CCTV to find him making mistakes. But the tribunal found that this was not true.
They also rejected Mr Battle’s assertion that he should have just got a warning.
‘The tribunal formed the view that the applicant had an unjustified perception of persecution by the respondent and that his behaviour stemmed, at least in part, from that,’ Mr Hill said in the decision notice.
‘It was likely that any penalty imposed by the respondent would simply have bolstered the applicant’s mistaken perception of persecution and would not have altered his behaviour.
‘The applicant, in the tribunal’s view, was too eager to accept workplace rumour and speculation as established fact.’
The tribunal found that Mr Battle’s behaviour on the Route 71 journey was serious enough to be counted as gross misconduct and justify dismissal and that overall the dismissal was fair.