28 Sep 2010

Driver dismissed over faulty brakes loses tribunal

A Stagecoach driver sacked for driving a bus in wintry weather with brakes he claimed were “dangerously” faulty has lost his unfair dismissal claim. Ray Stubbs, 53, of Bridge of Isla Croft, Rothiemay, near Huntly lost his job after allegedly failing to notify his employers until after he completed his morning shift that his vehicle veered to the right when he braked.
He took his employers to an industrial tribunal, but lost yesterday after the panel found favour with Stagecoach, saying Mr Stubbs should have stopped the bus and radioed for assistance, or at least reported the suspected fault later. He continued to drive, picking up passengers along the Inverurie to Aberdeen route on February 3 this year.
Mr Stubbs, who represented himself, said he would not have picked up passengers along the route if the fault happened again, but it occurred only once. His closing submission stated: “I was summarily dismissed by Stagecoach for an offence which I could not possibly have committed, given that they dismissed me for ‘driving a vehicle with defect brakes’, yet just over two hours later they themselves declared the bus fit for use, and the brakes not to be defective." 
The panel said Mr Stubbs believed the brakes to be defective so should not have continued to drive the bus. Mr Stubbs said he expected the decision, and claimed he had been dismissed because he “was making waves all the time about the safety of the buses”.

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