By ParagonHRS, 03-Oct-2012 12:43:00
What is summary dismissal?
Summary dismissal is the instant dismissal of an employee without any pay in lieu of notice. Normally and employee would be entitled to their statutory notice period unless a greater value is stated within their contract of employment. Only in exceptional circumstances will summary dismissal be justifiable and can only be utilized when an employee has committed an act of gross misconduct.
What are grounds for summary dismissal
The grounds for summary dismissal are generally when an employee's has committed willful gross misconduct. This is when an employee has acted in way that threatened someone’s wellbeing acted in a way that threatens the company’s reputation, financials or ability to operate.
Examples of when summary dismissal may be appropriate:
• Sexual harassing other employees
• Using abusive language towards others
• Sleeping on the job which could cause potential harm to others
• Gross dishonesty such as theft of equipment or money
• Using threatening or violent behavior towards others
• Refusing a reasonable request by their line manager which could cause harm to others
• found seriously in breach of Data Protection protocols
• Criminal offences (Present or previously undisclosed)
• Serious incompetence or deliberate neglect of duty
• Being under the influence of drugs in the workplace
Summary dismissal process
If you feel that you have no choice but to instantly dismiss an employee, you must still follow the statutory disciplinary and dismissal procedure as you would do for any other disciplinary matter.
When summary dismissing an employee you must follow the statutory disciplinary and dismissal procedures as you would if you were handling any other disciplinary issue
What are the risks of summary dismissal?
If the dismissal is justified it will not be wrongful dismissal. It may however still be unfair dismissal and normally will be if the employer has failed to consult the matter with the employee
If you have reasonable justifications for using summary dismissal then it will not be considered wrongful dismissal. The risk comes if the employer has failed to consult the matter with the employee and this could be considered unfair dismissal.
How can you mitigate the risk of summary dismissals?
Summary dismissing an employee can be high risk, to minimise the risk then you should consider suspending the employee of full pay whilst you investigate the issues
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