NCT tester was fairly sacked for passing his own cars
An inspector at a NCT centre who was sacked after he passed his own vehicles three times was not unfairly dismissed, the Employment Appeals Tribunal has ruled.
Andrew Barron had his contract terminated in October 2013 after he tested his own car at a Mullingar test centre on the same day it failed for having a faulty rear bulb.
In the unfair dismissal action, Mr Barron was seeking to have his job reinstated.
He worked as an NCT car tester for almost 15 years and after his car failed a test at lunchtime on February 6, 2013, the EAT heard that Mr Barron replaced the bulb and returned to the centre that evening to test and passed his own vehicle.
The tribunal heard that employees are not permitted to test their own vehicles or the vehicles of family members or friends.
At an internal investigatory meeting on October 3, 2013, Mr Barron claimed the offence was a once-off.
He said: "I apologise to you and the company. My job is my livelihood. Do anything else, but don't take my job."
However, an internal investigation found that Mr Barron had in fact passed his own vehicles on two previous occasions - in May 2009 and in August 2011.
The EAT report records that Mr Barron admitted that he was the owner of the vehicles concerned, but offered no explanation when the allegations were put to him. A decision was taken to fire him.
An EAT hearing was held over two days in Dublin and its report records that Mr Barron was given an opportunity to give his evidence "but declined to do so on the grounds that it was too stressful".
In dismissing the claim, the EAT stated that Applus "has discharged the burden of proof and finds that in all the circumstances the dismissal was fair".