Misconduct Versus Poor Performance.

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Misconduct versus poor performance

It is important to know the difference between misconduct and poor performance. Confusing the two could mean your approach is completely wrong.

The main difference is in the level of control. Poor performance is when an employee tries as hard as possible but keeps falling short because they lack skill, ability or training for example. In cases of misconduct, the employee could perform better but for whatever reason chooses not to.


Often these employees are unaware they are not performing well and are unlikely to initiate change. Poor performance or underperformance shows up as:

  • failure to do the duties of the role or to meet the standard required
  • non-compliance with workplace policies, rules or procedures
  • unacceptable behaviour at work
  • disruptive or negative behaviour that affects co-workers

If you do not address underperformance early, it could become more serious and start to affect the productivity and performance of the whole business.


Misconduct is serious behaviour and, at worst, is gross misconduct, for example:

  • misuse of computers
  • lateness
  • poor presentation
  • unexplained absences
  • inappropriate behaviour with other employees that affects their job
  • abusive behaviour
  • leaking confidential documents or information
  • drinking or drug abuse at work
  • corruption
  • theft

Employsure helps you take the right actions for misconduct versus poor performance. For peace of mind, please call our 24 hour Advice Line now on 1300 207 182.

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