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Hi All,


So this is our current situation:


20th June 2018 my partner was involved in a RTC (Road Traffic Collision) he is an HGV Driver and was driving his trailer at the time. He clipped another vehicle which caused that vehicle to 'roll over' a woman, who was crouched down on the drivers side.


Earlier when my partner arrived at the Recycling Centre this same vehicle was parked (in an un-authorised area and parked facing the wrong way : drivers side on pavement: and the two ladies were having difficulty as the ignition key had been broken in the ignition, my partner went to assist these ladies but could not retrieve the key therefore he helped move the vehicle forward so that he could get into the loading bay.


On leaving the loading bay you drive around the exiting site, but before he could leave he had to ask for another vehicle to be moved (which was also in un-authorised space) he then pulled out to enter the weighbridge passing (3) vehicles which were all beyond a no entry sign, and as he turned to make the weighbridge he clipped the vehicle with his rear end, he hears a shout "stop stop" and stopped.


In the meantime getting back to the vehicle, whilst my partner is working his way around the site, the ladies mother arrives and she is crouching down on the drivers side (presumably to assist with getting the car started again) so from a visual perspective when my partner is making his manoeuver he sees vehicles only. He does misjudge and clip the vehicle at less than 2 miles per hour.


The woman sustains injuries and the emergency services are called. VOSA also attends and Brian is subsequently suspended pending full investigation.


Brian makes a full statement to HR and the following week attends a meeting in the workplace to formalize the previous statement.


Brian is then invited to attend a disciplinary action meeting Friday 6th July outside of the workplace.


We have now been informed that he is dismissed from today's date, the reason being that the seriousness of the accident warranted dismissal.


Having worked for this company for some time Brian is aware of the concerns raised for this area and lots of complaints have been made, other accidents in this very area where damage has been limited to vehicles only have resulted in no action being taken against the driver, therefore the reasons for dismissal is because sadly someone was injured, but how can Brian be held accountable for that?


1) He clipped the vehicle at less than 2mph, but obviously being an articulated lorry has moved the other vehicle which then in turn injured the woman, he did not hit the woman.


2) All mirror checks should no persons only 3 vehicles. How can he be blamed when the woman was out of sight crouched down?


We are hoping that we have grounds for appeal and would like your help.


I have copies of all statements, letters received, letters sent although the dismissal letter we have been advised is being posted out today. We have five days to appeal and to determine if we have grounds for Industrial Action.


There is no union in place and Brian is not affiliated to any other.


We look forward to your thoughts,


thank you


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Really a very sad story


1) Five days to appeal seems quite short and I would ask questions about that


In any event, you need sufficient time to read the grounds of dismissal before you can appeal.


Concentrate on your appeal for now

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What is the exact wording o the dismissal letter? The reason will not be “sadly someone was injured.”

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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So update:


Still no formal letter advising dismissal and reasons. We popped a letter down to them prior to Monday which outlined other incidents in this area where no action was taken against the driver, and lo and behold we get a phone call this morning asking if letter received yet and advising Brian that an appeal meeting is arranged for Friday???? He has not even told them he is thinking of appealing, maybe out letter got them rattled.


So when letter arrives I will advise the wording for the grounds for dismissal and in the meantime any thoughts if he should attend this appeal meeting??


Many thanks for replies so far, much appreciated.


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They have most probably taken the content of your letter as an appeal against their decision. The letter confirming his dismissal should state that he has the right to appeal. He should definitely go to the appeal hearing and put forward his case.

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Yes he should definitely go for the Appeal Meeting


However, pop in another letter pointing out that you have still NOT received the Dismissal Letter


Also, point out that you need sufficient time to go through the letter


Inform them that the short notice puts you at a significant disadvantage and it is unfair


However, make sure you go for the Meeting

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Ok, further update.


The letter has now been received and the reasons for dismissal are 2 counts of gross misconduct,


1: That Brian "committed a breach of safety and actions which seriously endangered the health and safety of another person while at work and damaged the companies reputation.

2: That Brian "committed a serious neglect of duties.

Both of these then refer to sections within the company handbook.


The letter invites him to attend an appeal meeting as I mentioned earlier and we have taken on board your responses to that.


Will keep updating as we have news


Also Brian had to attend the police station today where he has been charged with driving without due care and attention (2mph!) so now on top of everything he now has to wait for the CPS to decide if legal action is to be taken.


Thanks in advance for your responses.

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Can I just check my reading ? He moved the vehicle so he could get past, then failed to get past. I think his helpfulness has rendered him responsible and accountable for both acts, and therefore the consequences are also his responsibility. In which case, admit, show remorse and seek to go on a refresher driving course is the suggested route.


What happened to other people with similar cases is neither here nor there. And the 2mph is not helpful because surely he could stop at that speed when the collision seemed likely to happen. You don’t have the mitigation you think you do.


Is a dismissal within the range of responses a reasonable employer would take? Yes. So humble pie time.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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From what you said and the fact he is going to be charged with driving without due care and attention ( even at 2mph, you dont have to be going fast) can be construed as gross misconduct.

Agree humble pie time.

Try the appeal.

Hope for the best but plan for the worst

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Thank you all for your responses.

We have now submitted an appeal but are not hopeful for any reinstatement, pleased to be able to share that Brian has already started a new job.

Should he decide to take any further action after the appeal decision I will return for advice, but until then thank you all so much.

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I'm happy to hear he has somewhere new to go and hope it works out well!

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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