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Compensation Bus driver sacked after being disqualified from driving gets €5k unfair dismissal award

But the Labour Court ordered that Kenneth Folman should not get his job back


Stock image, Photo: Barry Cronin/PA Wire

Stock image, Photo: Barry Cronin/PA Wire

Stock image, Photo: Barry Cronin/PA Wire

A former Bus Éireann worker who was sacked after being disqualified from driving has been awarded €5,000 compensation for unfair dismissal.

But the Labour Court ordered that Kenneth Folman should not get his job back.

An adjudication officer had previously ordered that he be reinstated in his position after finding his dismissal was unfair.

Bus Éireann appealed the adjudication officer’s decision but did not contest the fact that the dismissal was procedurally unfair.

Mr Folman worked for the commercial semi-state company on a full-time basis between June 2018 until August 2019, when his contract was terminated.

Bus Éireann claimed he contributed one hundred percent to his own dismissal.

It said there were several issues with his performance that culminated in a final written warning in June 2019.

The bus company said he was involved in a court case where he was disqualified from driving, which meant he was unable to carry out the job he was employed to do.

Bus Éireann said it felt it had no option but to dismiss him.

It said the trust between the employee and the company had been irreparably damaged.

The company said he had found another job within a short period of time.

Mr Folman argued that the incidents leading to the final written warning were not as serious as his former employer made them out to be.

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He said they were found worthy of a final written warning so to rely on them to dismiss him was unfair procedure.

Mr Folman appealed the disqualification, and it was lifted.

He argued that all new drivers have incidents when they are driving and that they build up experience through driving.

The National Bus and Railworkers Union, which represented him, said he went from a final written warning to dismissal without being given a fair hearing or allowed to appeal the decision.

Mr Folman said he was earning approximately €79 euro a week less in a new job after his dismissal.

In October last year he got another job that paid the same but was only working 25 hours a week.

In her determination, deputy chair Louise O’Donnell said the court does not believe reinstatement is appropriate.

She said compensation was the appropriate form of redress.

When contacted by Independent.ie, a spokeswoman for Bus Éireann said: “Safety is Bus Éireann’s first priority. We are satisfied with the outcome of the Labour Court appeal in this case and have no further comment to make.”

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