15 April 2015
First Bristol Ltd v Bailes
A Bristol bus driver has received an £84,000 pay out for unfair dismissal after he lost his job following a positive saliva drug test. First Bristol Ltd had received a complaint about his driving and conducted the test to investigate. This drugs test returned a positive result for cocaine.
The driver, who had a clean disciplinary record in his 22 years with the company, strongly disputed the result of this test and asserted that the positive result was not due to his own personal drug use. An alternative explanation he put forward was that he had been handling bank notes (which are known to often be contaminated with cocaine) shortly before eating his sandwiches and this could be why the saliva test showed evidence of cocaine. The driver paid out of his own pocket for a hair test which returned a negative result for the preceding 90 days.
In the words of the Employment Judge, the presence of the positive test ‘seemed to close the minds’ of First Bristol to there being an innocent explanation. They did not at any stage in the investigation appear to make any enquiry as to whether the driver’s explanation held any validity, something the Judge labelled ‘unreasonable and wholly unexplained’.
It is critical that disciplinary investigations are fair and reasonable at every stage of the process. The outcome of these investigations should not be prejudged. At Alpha, we can help ensure that your disciplinary procedures avoid costing you at an Employment Tribunal.
Martin Kaye have provided advice in some highly complex HR matters and they continue to provide our day to day HR advice through their "ALPHA" HR scheme. They offer a very commercial and pragmatic approach and we have always been impressed by the level of service. The members of staff are approachable and easy to deal with.
Eurofilms Extrusion Ltd
Martin Kaye have provided us with employment and HR advice for several years and we have been very pleased with the level of service and quality of advice provided. We have no hesitation in recommending the team to any organisation which wishes to manage its employment related enquiries.
D Wauchope, Company Secretary
McPhillips (Wellington) Ltd
As a large employer of cleaning personnel, we require expert and prompt employment related advice. Martin Kaye's "ALPHA" service provides this in a clear and robust manner. We have been extremely impressed with the service and would thoroughly recommend them to any employer requiring expert HR & employment support.
J Conry, Chairman
It is important for us to create a close relationship with our advisors. Martin Kaye's "ALPHA" HR service is excellent. It enables us to work closely with our lawyers particularly in the complex area of employment law.
Johnny Hobeika, Operations Manager
Sanita (UK) Ltd
ALPHA is an excellent, reliable, professional service which is an integrated part of our business that we could not do without. This service is part of our structure and provides staff and business with the professional HR Support it requires - Invaluable
Martin Kaye are rated
out of 5
based on 20 testimonials.