Despite your best efforts as an employer, it’s not always possible to avoid difficult situations at your workplace. If a member of staff behaves to such an extent you need to make a decisive action, what can you legally do? This guide explains your options.
What is serious insubordination?It’s an act of gross misconduct where an employee doesn’t follow the instruction your business provides. The act must be so serious that it breaks the trust or confidence you have in them.
Serious act of insubordination examplesTypically, you can classify it as aggressive, rude, or threatening behaviour. This may include:
- Refusing to complete tasks set by your business.
- Showing disrespect to superiors, such as with vulgar or mocking jibes.
- Directly challenging management decisions.
- Being difficult in less overt gestures, such as eye-rolling or tutting.
- Criticising your business on their social media accounts.
- Responding with many excuses and refusing to apologise.
- Blaming others for performance errors.
How to spot serious insubordinationIt’s not always easy to tell if a staff member is behaving poorly. But there are tell-tale signs, such as:
- Not acting on tasks set for them.
- Refusing to act on instructions, despite clearly understanding them.
- Total refusal to work.
- A staff member misunderstanding a task and completing it incorrectly—or not at all.
- If an employee questions the legality of a task you’ve asked of them.
- An employee questioning the ethics of a task.
- Staff members challenging you in a private conversation about a direct order.