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dicsiplinary matter for a colleague - advice please as accompanying him to this

(9 Posts)
thecaptaincrocfamily Wed 07-Sep-11 00:16:14

Please look at this for the background
I need someone who knows what constitutes gross misconduct by law as opposed to company policy ? union rep???

newmanager Wed 07-Sep-11 04:46:45


thecaptaincrocfamily Wed 07-Sep-11 12:37:48

I have looked at ACAS but unfortunately it doesn't provide much information on what constitutes misconduct v gross misconduct.

sparks Wed 07-Sep-11 13:12:00

I don't think there is an absolutely clear dividing line in the legislation between 'misconduct' and 'gross misconduct'. Gross misconduct is usually defined as acts that put the company's business in immediate danger, so much so that it warrants the person's immediate suspension from work. Examples are theft or fraud; physical violence or assault; serious incapability at work brought on by alcohol or illegal drugs; a serious breach of health and safety that puts others in danger.

How is gross misconduct defined in the company policy? Does the policy say a finding of gross misconduct would lead to dismissal?

I used to be a union rep. From what I have read on your other thread, I think this is a situation that warrants a first written warning. It's not something that someone should be dismissed over.

StillSquiffy Wed 07-Sep-11 13:54:05

Working in a supermarket and offending a customer by being lewd would (IMO) definitely tick the box of 'bringing the company name into disrepute' which is usually a fairly standard clause to have in one's list of examples of gross misconduct as per the employment contract (you should check this).

As regards the fact that his supervisor was aware of it and didn't bring it up with him, I don't think that would help your friend - you wouldn't expect to have to tell staff not to be lewd. I imagine that all that would come about from raising this previous comment would be the possibility that the supervisor might be disciplined himself for failing to deal appropriately with the issue when it was first noticed. It probably won't work as a defence for your friend (although rather bizarrely, had he known at the time that the matter had been raised with the supervisor with no action being taken subsequently by the supervisor, he might have been able to argue that he was operating totally within a framework that had been effectively 'endorsed' by his boss. Still shaky ground, but might give him 'wriggling' room).

I would imagine however that your friend will simply receive a verbal warning or a written censure and that will be the end of it (although I imagine he will be quite shaken - and deservedly so).

hairylights Wed 07-Sep-11 17:50:39

there isn't a legal definition, afaik, it comes down to policy. Our policy has a long list of things that are considered gross misconduct - and then it says 'this is not an exhaustive list'.

This man should absolutley be discipined for telling lewd stories/jokes in a customer facing environment. His behaviour is unacceptable and offensive and he is damaging his employers reputation.

Personally I would be giving him a very severe warning - and possibly dismissing - depending on the level and frequency of his lewdness.

We had a guy tell a supplier to 'f off' and he came extremely close to dismissal for gross misconduct.

DiddyMary Wed 07-Sep-11 22:56:37

This is going back a few years, but on a one-day basic intro to handling disciplinary matters we were told some things would be considered gross misconduct without needing to be specified up front (e.g. punching a colleague), others could be gross misconduct, but only if the contract of employment specifically said so.

I'm not sure if this implies other things that a tribunal would consider not gross misconduct even if the contract said they were.

thecaptaincrocfamily Thu 08-Sep-11 21:51:17

well I feel awful as he got dismissed sad and can't help wondering if there was anything else I could have done to help him through it.

sparks Fri 09-Sep-11 12:23:55

Sorry to hear that captaincroc sad

Even if you couldn't help save his job, you sound like a good friend to him.

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