Employees guilty of gross misconduct, amounting to a serious breach of their contracts of employment, are liable to be summarily dismissed, ie dismissed without the benefit of the notice to which they would otherwise be entitled.

The word “summary” is not, however, synonymous with “instant”. Allegations of gross misconduct should be investigated thoroughly before a decision is taken to dismiss the employee in question. If those investigations are likely to take a little time, the employee should be suspended from work on full pay.

This topic explains summary and wrongful dismissal, mitigation after summary dismissal and statutory minimum notice periods.

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