January 28, 2019
Gross misconduct is employee behaviour so serious it destroys trust and confidence between employer and employee, making the working relationship impossible to continue.
In a gross misconduct situation, an employee must have acted deliberately, and in full knowledge that they are breaching the terms of their contract. Or have been significantly negligent.
Employees can be dismissed without paid notice, but a fair process still needs to be followed.
Certain acts would almost always be considered gross misconduct. For instance:
However, some acts of gross misconduct may be less black and white, and specific to your business context. Staff must be made aware of any unacceptable behaviours which could result in dismissal. Employers should also be able to demonstrate how staff have been made aware of such behaviours.
Simply listing examples of unacceptable behaviours in your disciplinary procedures is not enough. We would additionally advise:
There are differing levels of staff misconduct, and appropriate actions which can be taken.
Summary dismissal is dismissal without paid notice.
TV dramas often portray employee misconduct, followed by immediate dismissal without any process being followed.
Please don’t do this!
If you suspect Gross Misconduct by an employee, you must still follow a fair process.
A fair process in a Gross Misconduct situation would include:
Employees should also:
Investigations should be carried out by someone not responsible for making disciplinary decisions.
You also need to demonstrate an appropriate amount of time has been spent on the issue. And that outcomes have not been pre-determined.
If you need help with a potential Gross Misconduct situation, or other disciplinary or dismissal process, we’d be happy to help. Call Debbie today on 01278 802329.