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- Setup of a competing business
- Misuse of confidential information
- Serious insubordination
- Discrimination or harassment
- Bringing the organization into serious disrepute
- Offering or accepting bribes
- A serious breach of health and safety regulations
- A serious breach of confidence
- Causing loss damage, or injury through serious negligence
- Serious incompatibility at work due to alcohol or illegal drug use"
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Gross misconduct

What is Gross misconduct?

Gross misconduct at work covers the unprofessional and unethical offences that staff members could commit. They fall short of regular standards in the workplace. A gross misconduct involves serious actions that can threaten the safety, health, and reputation of members of an organization, and can lead to the employee’s instant dismissal from their job.


What are some examples of gross misconduct in the workplace?

Employers should determine what constitutes as gross misconduct in the workplace by outlining them and their repercussions in the employee handbook or employment contract. By outlining them, employees can understand what is expected of them a what would cause their immediate termination from the workplace.

A few examples of employee misconduct are:


  • Theft or fraud
  • Physical violence or bullying
  • Damage to property
  • Serious misuse of an organization’s name or property
  • Deliberately accessing internet sites that contain offensive material
  • Setup of a competing business
  • Misuse of confidential information
  • Serious insubordination
  • Discrimination or harassment
  • Bringing the organization into serious disrepute
  • Offering or accepting bribes
  • A serious breach of health and safety regulations
  • A serious breach of confidence
  • Causing loss damage, or injury through serious negligence
  • Serious incompatibility at work due to alcohol or illegal drug use

Gross misconduct can include the actions elaborated above, but may not be limited to these. 

What is the difference between misconduct and gross misconduct?


The difference between a gross misconduct and misconduct is that unlike where the former will result in the employee being fired, a misconduct, although consequential, will not result in such serious consequences. 

Examples of misconduct may include being tardy to work, submitting subpar or incomplete work, being rude towards colleagues, and a few others. A misconduct generally involves a warning and a verbal or written reprimand. However, repeated cases of these may also be considered as gross misconduct and result in termination. 

It is best that a company differentiates between actions that can be considered as either in the employee handbook. 

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