Bread truck driver told to beg for petrol

A bread delivery driver has been awarded $18,000 after being sacked for refusing his boss’s orders to beg for petrol when he ran out of fuel while making his rounds.

Daryl Tiplady-Prasad got fed up after he kept being given a van without enough gas to complete his nightly bread run to Christchurch schools, cafes, dairies and supermarkets.

His frustration amplified whenever he ran out of petrol and his boss, Kenneth Broad would tell him to go to the local petrol station and ask for a top-up on credit.

After it happened twice, he told his boss that he wouldn’t be begging for gas again.

But when he found his van approaching empty a few days later, Mr Tiplady-Prasad chose not to complete his bread run.

He returned his van to the bakery, and left a note telling his boss Mr Broad why.

The next day, in March last year, just a few weeks into the job, Mr Broad trespassed his employee from the Christchurch bakery he was contracted to, meaning he could no longer do his job.

He then refused to pay his owed wages.

Now, Mr Tiplady-Prasad has won his Employment Relations Authority (ERA) case and been awarded $18,000.

“I do not believe that it is unreasonable for that employee to draw a line in the sand and say that he would no longer ask a petrol station for credit in circumstances where that petrol station was very clearly reluctant to give it,” ERA member David Appleton said.

He was critical of Mr Broad for not taking part in the employment dispute process.

Mr Appleton also criticised him for not going through the proper steps before taking out a trespass order against his worker.

It took Mr Tiplady-Prasad six months to get a new bakery job, and he was awarded $10,650 in lost wages, plus $1800 for owed wages.

The ERA also awarded him $4000 in compensation after suffering humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to his feelings.

Mr Broad, who failed to show for several ERA meetings, was also ordered to pay Mr Tiplady-Prasad’s lawyer $1500 in fees, and to his former worker himself for costs incurred in bringing the personal grievance case.


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