Distribution | Premium members | Partners

Please note that this list is not exhaustive and can be added to and changed to suit the particular needs of each employer. As always we recommend professional advice is taken when implementing policies and variations.

List of gross misconduct offences and definitions

For gross misconduct, the Company reserves the right to summarily dismiss an employee and normally dismissal will be without notice with pay only up to the point of dismissal.

Examples of gross misconduct, where the Company has reasonable grounds for believing that the following matters have occurred, are:

  1. theft, unauthorised possession or removal of Company products or property, or property belonging to another employee, client, customer or visitor, fraud (including making fraudulent or false expense claims), deliberate falsification of records, false declarations in connection with employment or applications for employment or any other form of dishonesty
  2. using the Company’s property, materials or equipment to carry out work for third parties on a personal basis without permission
  3. misuse of Company benefits, such as improper use of a staff discount card
  4. offering, promising or giving a bribe or requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting a bribe or bribing a foreign public official in connection with employment contrary to the Bribery Act 2010
  5. wilfully or negligently causing harm or injury to another employee, client, customer or visitor, physical violence, assault, fighting, bullying or grossly offensive, abusive or aggressive behaviour or language
  6. deliberately or negligently causing damage to the Company’s property, or to property belonging to another employee, client, customer or visitor
  7. vandalism of, or otherwise intentionally interfering with, the Company’s computers or computer or telephone network
  8. causing loss, damage or injury through serious carelessness or gross negligence
  9. dereliction of duty, including sleeping whilst at work and undertaking unauthorised activities during normal working hours
  10. wilful refusal to obey a reasonable management instruction or serious insubordination
  11. serious incapacity at work through an excess of alcohol or illegal drugs, whether consumed on or off Company premises but which affects the employee’s ability to carry out their job duties whilst at work
  12. bringing illegal drugs or other illegal substances or items or weapons on to Company premises
  13. smoking on Company premises, other than in designated outside smoking areas
  14. logging on to sexually explicit websites, downloading or circulating pornographic or other offensive, illegal or obscene material or using the internet or e-mail for gambling or illegal activities or the sending of offensive e-mails to work colleagues (in the latter case, including from the employee’s home computer in their own time)
  15. engaging in sexual activity on Company premises at any time
  16. posting derogatory, offensive, discriminatory or defamatory comments online (for example, on social media websites) about the Company, its employees, clients or customers or otherwise conducting themselves online in a way that is detrimental to the Company or brings the Company into serious disrepute
  17. a serious breach of health and safety rules, including acts or omissions which endanger the safety of another employee, client, customer or visitor
  18. a serious breach of security rules
  19. behaviour outside working hours or work location which either results in or has the potential to result in criminal charges or convictions, which affect the employee’s ability to perform their job duties
  20. discriminating against, harassing, bullying or victimising another employee, client, customer or visitor because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief, sex and/or sexual orientation
  21. a serious breach of confidentiality, including unauthorised access of computer and personnel records and communicating or leaking trade secrets or confidential information about the Company or its employees, clients or customers to third parties
  22. working for a competitor without permission
  23. engaging in an unauthorised activity which conflicts with the interests of the Company or its clients or customers
  24. breaching copyright or any other proprietary interest belonging to the Company
  25. knowingly breaking a legal requirement in connection with employment
  26. bringing the Company into serious disrepute, even if done in the employee’s own time
  27. unauthorised absence, including failure to return from a period of annual leave or other approved leave of absence.


The information and advice contained within this website are of a general informative nature and are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice for your specific circumstances.  We recommend that you always obtain specific professional advice before taking or refraining from any action relating to any information contained within our website.
Whilst we make every effort to ensure the examples and information in our articles are complete, accurate, reliable, error free and up to date, we do not warrant that it is such.  The information provided also only shows an overview of relevant legislation and regulations at the date of publication.  We therefore do not take any responsibility or provide any warranties should you act on this advice without seeking appropriate professional advice.
Every effort has been made by the author to ensure that the information given is accurate and not misleading, but neither the Author or Business and Management Support (Wessex) can accept responsibility for any loss or liability perceived to have arisen from the use of any such information. Only Acts of Parliament and Statutory Instruments have the force of law and only the courts can authoritatively interpret the law.
No guarantees of specific results are expressly made or implied.
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