Serious Misconduct

Employers have the right to immediately (summarily) dismiss an employee if they have engaged in serious misconduct. Serious misconduct involves an employee intentionally acting in a way that is inconsistent with continuing their employment. Examples of this may include:

  • safety breaches;
  • assault;
  • drugs and alcohol matters; or
  • theft of company property.

However, employers should be cautious when summarily dismissing employees. Sometimes the dismissal may be warranted, however it may not be serious enough in nature to constitute immediate dismissal. The test is whether the reason for dismissal was ‘sound, defensible or well founded’. If you are an employer who is unsure whether an employee can be summarily dismissed, our experienced Employment Law Team are able to provide you with advice that is succinct and reliable.

How can Coutts assist you?

If you are an employee that has been summarily dismissed, you have the right to respond to the allegation. We recommend seeking legal advice in relation to this, which is something we are more than happy to assist with. Karena Nicholls heads the Employment Law department at Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers and is dedicated to advising employees with regards to disciplinary processes. Our experienced Employment Law Team are able to provide you with advice that is succinct and reliable.

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