Responding to allegations of gross misconduct

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Responding to allegations of gross misconduct

2018-07-24T11:29:10+00:00 July 24th, 2018|All, HR News|

Dismissal following a serious offence is usually as a result of gross misconduct. Examples of gross misconduct include theft, assault, fraud and violence. Gross misconduct can lead to summary dismissal – which means dismissal without notice and without working through a series of disciplinary warnings.

In a situation of alleged gross misconduct it is usual (but not essential) to suspend the employee whilst investigations take place. Suspension should not be an automatic reaction, and should only be considered if it is important for ensuring a fair investigation, because emotions are running high or if there is concern that the employee could damage the organisation in some way if in employment whilst the investigation is taking place. The employee should be suspended on full pay and all benefits associated with the employee’s role continue during the period of suspension.

If a benefit is linked to the alleged offence then it might be appropriate to remove that benefit. For example, if the allegation is that the employee has been driving a company car whilst under the influence of alcohol it would be appropriate to refuse to let the employee drive away in the company car.

If a decision is taken to suspend an employee pending an investigation into gross misconduct the employee should be asked to attend a meeting with their manager. They should be told that they have the right to be accompanied at that meeting by a trade union representative or a colleague.

At that meeting they should be told:

  • they are being suspended on full pay
  • the reason for the suspension
  • that an investigation is now taking place
  • that an investigation is now taking place
  • that there will be a disciplinary meeting if the investigation supports the allegations
  • that it is possible that they will be dismissed
  • that they are not to contact any customers during the period of suspension (if appropriate)
  • that they should not attend for work, or enter the company premises, during the period of suspension
  • how long it is expected that the investigation will take.

It is important that this meeting does not become the start of the investigation, or turn into an actual disciplinary meeting. Although the employee is likely to be emotional, and is likely to want to start defending the allegation, it is important to ensure that such discussions do not start as the investigation has not been completed at this stage.

If you require further support on this subject, please contact our team of HR Consultants at aspire cambridge  today on 01223 855441.