Tales of an HR Services Expert – Day 17: Gross Misconduct

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 after a full disciplinary process 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.

Remember – You cannot suspend them unless there is a danger to life or property.

You would follow the normal investigatory and disciplinary process. It is just that 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 pay them for the time until the appeal has ended.

Once the appeal has made a decision (reinstate or dismiss) then you would issue a P45 if appropriate.

Normally, if the employee has less than 2 years’ service you would avoid the process and just give them their notice.

However if you do not want to pay their notice, you would have to follow the full gross misconduct disciplinary procedure for it to be considered fair – they have no protection from unfair dismissal but they can claim unpaid monies.


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