In this case study, employment lawyer Kevin Murphy looks at a client case where a tanker driver has a very close call with an elderly pedestrian who is forced to move bollards to avoid a serious incident
Overview and Background
The client is a tanker company based in Stoke-on-Trent. The client received a complaint from an elderly lady who reported that she had nearly been hit by one of the vehicles whilst on foot. In order to avoid being hit by the vehicle she had to push over bollards into some roadworks.
The client’s vehicles have 360-degree cameras and discovered on review that the driver had nearly collided with the lady after turning a corner, so much so that she tried to push the lorry away from her to protect herself.
Client concerns and aims
The client was concerned for the lady who complained and her well-being. They were disappointed that such a serious incident had taken place and that it was only due to good fortune that serious injury had not occurred.
The client was unsure how to deal with this serious issue and asked our lawyers for support. They could no longer trust the driver in question and felt it necessary to take steps to protect their business when the lady was so upset. The driver only had a few months service.
What we did
We advised the client that if they could no longer trust the employee they could look at removing them from the business. There were two ways in which to do that, the client could follow the full disciplinary procedure including investigation and disciplinary meetings or consider a truncated process due to the employee’s short length of service.
Outcome and benefits
The client decided that a truncated process was preferable. We double-checked the employee’s start date to confirm that they did not have the required length of service and ensured that none of the many exceptions to the exclusion of the right to bring an unfair dismissal claim in the first 2 years of employment applied to this case.
We then drafted a dismissal letter properly detailing the reasons for the dismissal. We assisted the client in the best way to dismiss the employee.
By understanding whether the truncated process could be used we saved the client 2 – 3 weeks of management time and effort and achieved the aims of the client.
HR help and advice for your logistics business
If you are in the logistics industry or have drivers on the road representing your business and want to ensure you have the right HR support please get in touch with the team who can carry out a free HR review and advice you on your HR headaches.