I was reviewing a contract today. They had a sentence in there:
“If you are considered to have committed gross misconduct then you will be summarily dismissed, with no notice or pay.”
Now I know what they are trying to say. They are just not saying it correctly.
They are trying to say that if you are found guilty of having committed gross misconduct, then you will be dismissed without notice and only paid to your date of termination. Much more boring.
They have in effect failed to mention that after the first two years, you can’t dismiss an employee without following a process. Even if you think it could be gross misconduct.
For a gross misconduct dismissal it is very similar to a normal disciplinary.
Key part of the process – You have to suspend them IMMEDIATELY that you discover the “act” that you think may be gross misconduct.
You then would follow the normal investigatory and disciplinary process. Just when you get to deciding what is going to happen as a result, you have the additional option of dismissing for gross misconduct.
The employee has the right to appeal this decision, but you don’t need to keep them on the payroll whilst the appeal is happening.
Normally, if the employee has less than 2 years’ service you would avoid the process and just give them their notice. However if you want to not pay their notice, you would have to follow the full procedure for it to be considered fair – they have no protection from unfair dismissal but they can claim unpaid monies.