'BENDING RULES' Clampers used 'spotters' to cheat system and secure bigger bonuses
WORKERS at a clamping company took part in an unauthorised "workaround" that resulted in them clamping more cars, which could then earn them higher work bonuses.
This was one of the findings of Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) adjudication officer Kevin Baneham, who found the decision by a clamping company to dismiss one worker who engaged in the practice was not unfair.
The man told the WRC he clamped 2,500 vehicles between January and October 2018 and was subject to only 12 successful appeals. The man was sacked on November 13, 2018, and got a job with another clamping company the following day.
In his findings, Mr Baneham said workers' bonus payments depended on how many vehicles they clamped.
"Staff have the obvious incentive to bend the rules in order to stave off criticism of their performance or to earn additional remuneration," he said.
The company had contended the worker used the workaround to earn a larger bonus, but Mr Baneham said it also benefited financially from an operator who clamped a great many vehicles.
He said the workaround involved a clamper noting the time a vehicle was parked and relaying this to a colleague, who would clamp the car at the end of the grace period.
Mr Baneham said the staff member who administered the clamp would enter the spotting time relayed to them and then enter the time they administered the clamp.
"This obviously allowed for more vehicles to be clamped as the staff member who clamped the vehicle did not have to also spot the vehicle beforehand," Mr Baneham said.
In the case where the dismissed worker received a final written warning for the workaround, a supermarket home delivery vehicle was noted to have parked in a loading bay at 5.58pm on October 17, 2018, by a colleague.
The vehicle had 20 minutes' grace time and it was clamped by the sacked worker at 18.24pm - 26 minutes after it was spotted.
Mr Baneham said the driver of the vehicle was able to rely on the vehicle's CCTV to challenge that it had been spotted at the said time.
Using the GPS on the clamping vehicle, the clamping company established the dismissed worker could not have spotted the vehicle as he was driving at this time.
It sacked the man after a second incident where he took a work van home after an explicit warning not to do so.
Mr Baneham said it is "striking how prevalent this workaround was".
"From the evidence, I count five members of staff who engaged in this practice although the company's enforcement officer gave strong evidence that he did not engage in this practice."