Employee sacking over $2.40 was fair: Commission

An employee sacked for giving himself a $2.40 discount on a packet of cigarettes has had his claim for unfair dismissal rejected by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

George Reid worked the midnight shift for a BP service station in Sydney’s Redfern, but was dismissed after breaching company policy by buying a pack of cigarettes on his credit card at a discounted rate.

Reid lodged a claim for unfair dismissal, arguing that it was harsh and excessive for his employer to sack him over a mere $2.40, especially given his previous good record with the company.

At the AIRC, however, senior deputy president Robert Cartwright said while he would normally have some sympathy with the Reid’s argument, his failure to be honest with his employer about what he had done made his breach more serious.

Cartwright found Reid had given two different stories to his employer about what had happened and then gave “vague and evasive” evidence to the commission.

“Mr Reid’s conduct… and his unsatisfactory responses mean that BP cannot have the trust and confidence necessary for Mr Reid to continue in the role for which he was employed,” he said.

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