Serious or gross misconduct is so serious you are entitled to dismiss an employee for the first offence. The Fair Work Regulations define serious misconduct as behaviour that could causes serious and imminent risk to the reputation or profits of the business or health and safety of another person, or is deliberate behaviour inconsistent with continuing the employment. Usually, it means theft, fraud, assault, or intoxication at work.
Include a clear definition of serious misconduct in your employee handbook and make sure your employees have read it. Some types of behaviour will still be seen as serious misconduct, even if they are not included in your handbook. Always clearly set out the consequences for serious misconduct and the disciplinary procedure you would follow.
In cases of serious misconduct, it is not enough just to have it included in your employee handbook. You will need to demonstrate this conduct (and its consequences) were serious enough to warrant instant (summary) dismissal.
Employsure can advise you on managing serious misconduct. For peace of mind, please call our 24 hour Advice Line now on 1300 651 415.