Research and reports
Small businesses need to have a process in place for misconduct and gross misconduct disciplinary meetings.
Using misconduct and gross misconduct meeting letter templates and examples can help you make sure you're following the right steps.
Read on to find out what constitutes gross misconduct in the workplace, examples of gross misconduct, and how your business can handle misconduct smoothly.
Anything defined as ‘misbehaviour’ by an employee can be classed as misconduct.
Usually, there are three types of misconduct, depending on how serious the misbehaviour is. These are general misconduct, serious misconduct, and gross misconduct.
Gross misconduct is when your employee’s behaviour damages their relationship with you beyond repair.
It can open the pathway to rapid dismissal, without notice or pay in-place of notice, but you’ll need to follow a legal, fair process.
It depends on how serious the misconduct is. For example, regularly arriving late, inappropriate clothing, or general ‘time-wasting’ would usually constitute general or serious misconduct.
So, what counts as gross misconduct at work? Here are a few examples:
In any misconduct scenario, clarity is key. Setting the position and next steps out in a legal letter format will help you, your employee, a court or tribunal, and anyone else involved to understand the process you’re following.
If your employee’s behaviour is deemed as misconduct, such as arriving late or not meeting your dress code, it can be beneficial to have an informal discussion first.
This can help you to resolve the issue without taking formal action. The informal discussion letter template sets out the basic details of the meeting, including:
The letter should also explain that the meeting isn’t part of the formal disciplinary process, but make clear that formal action could be taken if the behaviour being discussed continues.
If you need to call a meeting with a member of staff to discuss allegations of gross misconduct, you’ll need to send them a letter.
A customisable disciplinary letter template allows you to explain to the employee that allegations have been made against them, or that following their suspension you’re calling a meeting to discuss their behaviour.
You should include the following information in the letter:
You’ll also need to outline any relevant documents or witness statements you’ve already received, while it’s good practice to attach a copy of your disciplinary policy to the letter.
As well as the letter to call a gross misconduct meeting, these are some of the letters you may need to send to employees as part of your disciplinary procedure:
If a member of staff has committed general or serious misconduct, these are some of the letters you may need to send them:
If you’re satisfied that there are grounds for gross misconduct, you may wish to start proceedings by suspending your employee (on full pay).
Sometimes this isn’t necessary, and your first step will be to send them an invite to a disciplinary hearing for gross misconduct.
At the meeting itself, you’ll cover these key areas:
Use our disciplinary policy guide for details on how to run the agenda, and invite others to attend – noting that employees have a right to be accompanied in these meetings.
We strongly advise you to take expert legal advice, before and throughout, in case of any fall-out from misconduct proceedings.
Rosanna Parrish is a Copywriter at Simply Business, specialising in legal and HR content. Trained at London College of Communication, she has been creating content professionally for eight years at publications across the UK and Spain. Starting her career in health insurance, she also worked in education marketing before returning to the insurance world. Rosanna also writes about wellbeing in the workplace. She lives by the sea and does her best writing in coffee shops.
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