Saturday, 20 August 2011

You can’t dismiss for gross misconduct anymore…

...unless you follow the right procedures!

If you employ staff, I hope that you never encounter this. It is one of the worst things that an employer has to deal with. You not only have an employee who has done something seriously wrong, you have to confront them about it AND you have to deal with the consequences of their wrong actions for the company. It can be as simple as sleeping at your desk, to being rude to clients and losing them, to embezzlement.

To make the process go smoothly and not be any more painful than it is going to be, here is a practical and straight-forward way to approach the situation.

Gross misconduct
Gross misconduct is often a long list in the handbook, covering a multitude of sins.If you have any suspicions of gross misconduct, then you need to suspend the person IMMEDIATELY (on full pay). Otherwise the lawyers will argue that there was no “breach of trust/contract”. If there had been, you would have removed them from the building immediately.
If you let them work to the end of the day, or even after lunch, then you will only be able to give them a Final Written Warning.The aim is to stop lawyers accepting tribunal claims on a “no win, no fee” basis. You can’t stop people starting claims. However if they have to pay legal fees out of their own pocket, then they will think twice about continuing.
- Suspend
- Investigate
- Hold a disciplinary meeting to hear their side of the story
- Make your decision
- Allow an appeal
- Reconsider your decision
- Make your final decision
- Await the tribunal form (only half kidding!)

This article was kindly provided by Carolyne Wahlen of Gap HR who offer a service, HR in a box, which is designed to increase your people management competence so that you are able to deal with staff issues with less struggle and effort. This means that you can spend more time with what you love in your business: working with your clients. We recommend a call to Carolyne on 01491 699 552 to see how she can help!

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