Following an investigation and disciplinary procedure, Mr Newbound was summarily dismissed for gross misconduct. Usually, it means theft, fraud, assault, or intoxication at work. Gross misconduct is an act that’s so serious it justifies dismissal without notice, even for a first offence. An action made by an employee may result in a major security risk or a health and safety risk. It will typically include theft, fraud, physical violence and serious breaches of health and safety. Damage to Property This can include acts of willful or deliberate damage to office property or gross negligence, which may culminate in a substantial damage or loss to property. Increasing the risk of work-related accidents and potentially bringing the company into disrepute. Gross misconduct letter template. In any misconduct scenario, clarity is key. It was therefore outside of the ‘range of reasonable responses’ open to the employer, and it constituted an unfair dismissal. It’s clear to see how this scenario constitutes gross misconduct. As ever, context will be key; there will be different levels of tolerance depending on the employer and the role being undertaken by the employee. Given that definition, while an employer may assume that an employee whose conduct causes a serious and imminent risk to health and safety is guilty of serious misconduct, unless there is a "wilful and deliberate" element to that conduct, the Fair Work Commission may not share that view in an unfair dismissal context. It is a premeditated act to harm the company or another person. Some of these will be obvious for you. Damage to the business Any of these acts of gross misconduct could cost the business money, damage its reputation as a good employer and honest business, and lead to legal action. Moreover, this is to ensure fairness and prevent the risks of an employee claiming for unfair dismissal. What constitutes gross misconduct? Gross misconduct is a legal term meaning a wrongful, unlawful or improper conduct that could lead to immediate dismissal from the workplace because it is serious enough to break statutory UK law such as sexual harassment, stealing or serious breach of health and safety regulations causing a risk of injury. When deciding how to respond to misconduct, an employer must ensure they conduct a fair investigation and disciplinary process. What constitutes gross misconduct? Gross misconduct is an action or behaviour that breaks the implied contractual term of trust and confidence between an employee and employer. If misconduct of an employee is so serious that it undermines the mutual trust and confidence between the employee and their employer and merits instant dismissal, this is known as gross misconduct. Mr Newbound had worked for Thames Water for 34 years. However, Mr Andrews received only a written warning, on the basis that he was less experienced and had shown more remorse. However, the most common examples can include: Vandalism of workplace property; Gross negligence; A severe breach of health and safety rules; Violence; Theft, fraud, and dishonesty However, an employee accountable for gross misconduct has, through behaviour so serious as to negate the appropriateness of warnings, destroyed the employment relationship and overturned the contract between the employer and himself. Your disciplinary rules should give examples of what will be treated as gross misconduct. Gross misconduct is inappropriate behaviour that's so serious you have the right to dismiss the employee for their first offence. In this situation, the employee can be summarily (instantly) dismissed. Such actions that betray the trust that is essential for a positive working relationship often constitute gross misconduct dismissal. What could amount to gross misconduct? Theft or damage Behaviour that causes a security/health risk. When employees commit such severe breaches of health and safety rules, this often results in significant liability and reputational damage for employers. With respect to gross misconduct refers to behavior that can get a person dismissed straight away from work because it is serious enough and possibly criminal. Breaching health & safety rules may be deemed gross misconduct where it places the employee and others at risk of harm or injury by, for example, consistently refusing to follow company safety processes when operating machinery. Failing to adhere to health and safety requirements could amount to gross misconduct. The Court of Appeal handed down a fascinating judgment in July concerning a gross misconduct dismissal on the grounds of a serious breach of Health and Safety Regulations. The sub-folder also contains a disciplinary policy and letter templates concerning gross misconduct suspension and dismissal notices. Some gross misconduct examples are: Intoxication while at work; Violence at work; Serious health & safety breaches; Bullying; Harassment; Discrimination; Ultimately it is up to you to decide what constitutes misconduct, but you have to be consistent. Examples of acts of gross misconduct include theft; fraud; deliberate acts of discrimination or harassment; refusal to carry out reasonable instructions, violent or intimidating behaviour, wilful damage to property or breach of health and safety rules. There have to been too many instances that prove the value of rigorous health and safety measures. What is classed as gross misconduct at work? Employees who arrive to work under the influence of drugs and alcohol can pose a serious threat to the health & safety of colleagues and any third parties. However, a clear definition of gross misconduct eludes many employers. Any gross misconduct disciplinary procedure needs to be thorough and follow a strict process. Professional HR and Health and Safety support and advice for businesses across the UK. In most cases, an act of gross misconduct is enough to justify grounds for immediate dismissal. They’re acts that destroy the trust and confidence between you and your employee. An employer’s decision to dismiss an employee summarily on grounds of gross misconduct was not a reasonable response to an employee’s failure to adhere to a new health and safety procedure. The test for gross misconduct is “Would it be reasonable to consider this action to be a serious breach of acceptable workplace behaviour.” To avoid the employee claiming that they didn’t think some actions amounted to gross misconduct it is best to list these borderline areas as gross misconduct. Gone are the days of the health-and-safety-gone-mad-zealots. Gross misconduct is deemed to be conduct so serious so as to justify the summary dismissal of an employee. Very serious misconduct such as theft, physical violence or significant breaches of health and safety rules can be referred to as Gross Misconduct. Being drunk or under the influence of drugs at work could also lead to other categories of gross misconduct such as physical violence or negligence of health and safety. But employers sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that everything with a health and safety element is a risk to health and safety and therefore dismissal-worthy. major breaches of health and safety rules . He had an excellent disciplinary record. Welcome to the Wirehouse portal. Gross misconduct examples 1. A disciplinary policy usually provides a non –exhaustive list of examples of behaviour that meet the definition of gross misconduct. Gross negligence also focuses on the magnitude of the risks involved, such that, if more than ordinary care is not taken, a serious mishap is likely to occur. Gross misconduct relates to the actions or behaviour of the employee. Most employers would identify intoxication (whether from drink or drugs), fighting or other physical abuse, indecent behaviour, theft, dishonesty, sabotage, serious breaches of health and safety rules, offensive behaviour (such as discrimination, harassment, bullying, abuse and violence) and gross insubordination as examples of gross misconduct. As already stated, different actions can fall under the heading of gross misconduct, and the list is not exhaustive. Gross misconduct. For example, some lesser misconduct may lead to a warning, more serious misconduct may lead to a dismissal. Gross misconduct can be broken down into five categories: Theft or damage; Fraud; Offensive behaviour; Health and safety breaches; Substance misuse; In this guide we’ll go into further detail about what these categories cover, and how they can negatively affect your business. Examples of serious misconduct, subject to the rule that each case should be judged on its merits, are gross dishonesty or wilful damage to the property of the employer, wilful endangering of the safety of others, physical assault on the employer, a fellow employee, client or customer and gross … In the misconduct and gross misconduct sub-folder, you can find related warning documents such as letters and notices, letters and guidance regarding the conduct of any misconduct-related hearing. The types of behaviour considered to be gross misconduct will vary from organisation to organisation. Background The Fair Work Regulations define serious misconduct as behaviour that causes serious and imminent risk to the reputation or profits of the business or health and safety of another person, or is deliberate behaviour inconsistent with continuing the employment. Setting the position and next steps out in a legal letter format will help you, your employee, a court or tribunal and anyone else involved understand the process you’re following. Gross misconduct often is decided on a case-by-case basis, except in cases of criminal or illegal actions, such as embezzlement and violent behavior that overtly threatens the safety and well-being of both the employee and his colleagues. Offensive behaviour. Effectively an employer needs to prove that the actions or inactions of an employee were in serious violation of acceptable workplace conduct. This could be enough to be classed as gross misconduct. Some examples of gross misconduct include: Theft, fraud, and dishonesty. Gross misconduct, on the other hand, can cause palpable damage to the business. Even in non-safety critical roles, employees who are regularly under par at work due to excessive alcohol consumption are liable to be subject to misconduct, or even capability proceedings. The Employment Appeals Tribunal said that where serious injury or death can result, a one-off act of misconduct might count as gross misconduct and warrant dismissal. Gross or serious misconduct, however, has intent. Endangering oneself or other employees. Breach of health & safety rules. An employer’s response to misconduct must be fair and reasonable in all of the circumstances. Examples of gross misconduct include theft, fraud, physical violence or a serious breach of health and safety regulations. A colleague who does not wear a high-visibility vest in the warehouse or one that does not use the appropriate safety equipment when using machinery, for example, may be liable to allegations of gross misconduct. In an event such as that, the actions of the employee may call for a dismissal without notice even at first offence. Ensure you have a section in your employee handbook relating to Gross Negligence and omissions being potential acts of Gross Misconduct. 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