Payout for unfairly dismissed driver

A COACH driver has won a pay-out at an industrial tribunal after claiming he was unfairly dismissed.Anthony Colbourne worked for Talisman Coaches in Harwich Road, Great Bromley, until March this year.

By Annie Davidson

A COACH driver has won a pay-out at an industrial tribunal after claiming he was unfairly dismissed.

Anthony Colbourne worked for Talisman Coaches in Harwich Road, Great Bromley, until March this year.

The 62-year-old said the company's owner Terry Smith fired him because he had complained after being “pressurised” into driving outside his legal hours.


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In a statement to the industrial tribunal at Bury St Edmunds, Mr Colbourne, of Washington Road, Dovercourt, said: “At the time I made it very clear that I was a professional driver and I was not prepared to put either the passengers or myself at risk ever again.

“I complained bitterly at being put under pressure to do what I know could have been illegal.”

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Mr Colbourne, who now works for Cedrics coaches in Wivenhoe, said he sought advice from someone about employment law after the pressure continued.

As advised, he spoke to Mr Smith whose response was “angry and aggressive”.

“He is an intimidating man and I left the office because I feared he might attack me,” said Mr Colbourne.

He was finally sacked on March 13 this year after nearly two years with Talisman Coaches.

“I consider that I have been sacked because I have been a whistleblower,” Mr Colbourne said in his statement.

The tribunal found in favour of Mr Colbourne and ordered Mr Smith to pay him £6,815.45.

Mr Colbourne said he was “really, really pleased” when he won his case.

“Justice had been done,” he added.

Mr Smith, who did not attend the tribunal or send legal representation, said in a statement to the EADT that his transport manager Eddie French “never did and never would expect him (Mr Colbourne) or any drivers to drive with a tachometer chart removed”.

“No other drivers were or are intimidated to drive outside the legal hours. We go to great lengths to ensure this does not occur,” he said.

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