Procedure for Dismissal Because of Misconduct

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An employer may only dismiss a worker for misconduct as a last resort, after trying to correct the misconduct by taking other measures.

The code of good practice on dimissals advises that the following questions be asked before a person is dismissed because of misconduct:

  • Did the worker break a rule in the workplace?
  • Did the worker know about the rule? Or should they have known about it?
  • Was the rule valid and reasonable and was it applied consistently?
  • Is dismissal the appropriate action?

Repeated offences and serious first-offence misconduct justifies dismissal.

The following are examples of serious misconduct:

  • gross dishonesty (e.g. theft);
  • deliberate damage to the employer's property;
  • deliberately endangering the safety of others;
  • physical assault in the workplace; and/or
  • gross insubordination (e.g. swearing at a manager or supervisor).

Even when there is a good reason for the dismissal, the employer must still follow fair procedure.

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