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Driver sacked over Facebook post wins unfair dismissal claim

A driver who was sacked after criticising his employers on Facebook has won his claim of unfair dismissal.

Niall Kass was angry because he had been stopped by police while driving a vehicle for Perthshire company Gillies and Mackay Ltd. He was issued with a £60 fixed penalty because the vehicle’s MoT certificate had expired.

Mr Kass criticised the company over the incident on Facebook. He was later dismissed when company directors saw his comments.

However, the Employment Tribunal held that the dismissal was unfair because the correct procedures had not been followed and Mr Kass had not been given the chance to explain himself.

In giving its ruling, the Tribunal said that the company had over-reacted because Mr Kass’ comments could only be seen by his friends on Facebook and not by the general public. It said that in the days before Facebook, he would have “vented his frustrations by telling his friends and family of the incident directly or on the telephone”.

That would not have amounted to valid grounds for instant dismissal.

However, Mr Kass was held to be 20% responsible for his dismissal and so his compensation was reduced to £1,160.

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