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’.

How can Coutts assist you?

Karena Nicholls heads the Employment Law department at Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers and is dedicated to advising employers with regards to disciplinary processes. If you are an employer who is unsure whether an employee can be summarily dismissed, our experienced NSW employment lawyers Team are able to provide you with advice that is succinct and reliable.

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