Misconduct/bad behaviour

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When an employee misbehaves, as an employer, the action you can lawfully take will depend on the type of misconduct and on your business and its ethos.

If this is a first time event for that employee and the misconduct is not really serious, it’s advisable to address the situation informally and supportively at first.  By contrast, if the employee’s misconduct is serious, or he/she is a ‘repeat offender’, you’ll want to treat the matter more formally and there are procedures that you should follow in both instances.

Dismissal of an employee who has not first received a warning according to the established procedures will normally be unfair. However, ‘gross misconduct’ or ‘gross negligence’ might merit dismissal without a warning (and without notice).

elXtr contains helpful guidance on how you should classify particular misconduct by an employee and what you can lawfully do to address it. We recommend using our guides as your starting point and to set helpful context for the way in which the templates and other documents can be used. If you’re ever unsure about how to use any of our materials, just get in touch on the contact details below.


The content on elXtr has been prepared by LHS Solicitors. It’s intended as guidance only and not to be regarded as a substitute for consultation with one of our solicitors, since every case will ultimately turn on its own particular facts and circumstances. We recommend that you use our materials as your starting point and be aware that you sometimes have to follow a set procedure before taking any action, especially in an employment context. If you are in any doubt, we’d suggest that you get in touch with us and we’ll talk you through your options on how to get the right legal advice.