What’s an invite to an employee to attend disciplinary meeting to discuss allegations of gross misconduct and when do you need it?
This letter forms part of our suite of materials to support you where you have invoked your disciplinary policy and its process because of inappropriate conduct by one of your employees.
This letter may not be the first written communication that you send to your employee.
You may already have informed the employee of the allegation against them and suspended them from duty, using our relevant letter for this. If you have already suspended the employee, you should select the second option for the opening paragraph of this letter.
Gross misconduct – the definition
‘Gross misconduct’ is far more serious than other forms of employee misconduct. Anything that counts as misbehaviour by an employee can be described as ‘misconduct’. However, there are different types of misconduct that describe the various levels of seriousness: general misconduct (poor performance), serious misconduct, and gross misconduct.
If an employee does something that is so serious it destroys the employee-employer relationship, you're able to dismiss them rapidly, without notice and without any pay instead of notice, as long as you follow a proper and fair process of dismissal.
Instant dismissal isn't actually instant, normally. This kind of dismissal is often called a 'summary dismissal'. It's regularly described as 'instant dismissal' too, but due to the legal need to still demonstrate a fair dismissal process, it's rarely literally instant.
Your employment contract with the employee should make very clear what behaviour or activity constitutes ‘gross misconduct’ and is therefore worthy of this escalated dismissal treatment. For good measure, you should add this definition into your staff handbook too.
You should consider these within the general category of misconduct, and/or potentially within serious misconduct, although repeated episodes might cumulatively end up with you being justified in taking more severe action, including dismissal, against the employee.