Gross misconduct is a serious, and sometimes deliberate, behaviour that destroys the relationship between you and an employee. These acts are different to simple acts of misconduct, such as lateness or a failure to complete work tasks on time, and will instead enable employers to dismiss staff without notice pay. This guide explains how to deal with this matter in a legally compliant manner.
Defining employee misconductIt’s important to understand that what constitutes gross misconduct may not always be the same from one organisation to the next. It’ll vary depending on the type of business and its culture. For many brands, the likes of theft, fraud, and physical violence are nearly always thought of as gross misconduct acts. Behaviour such as foul language or personal use of the work’s computer may gross misconduct for some employers but not for others. The ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures states that disciplinary rules and policies should give specific examples of actions you regard as gross misconduct. When listing these examples, it’s important that you expressly state that the list is not exhaustive to allow them some flexibility in determining what constitutes workplace misconduct. Theft, fraud and dishonesty are generally considered as clear examples of gross misconduct. Examples of these actions include:
- Stealing company equipment.
- Stealing personal belongings from colleagues.
- Making fraudulent expense claims.
- Doctoring time sheets.