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The HR Forum


  • Hi Lou

    ACAS takes a staged approach to warnings, but there is also some interesting case law on this as a topic where a series of misconduct amounted to gross misconduct.

    In Mbubaegbu v Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust UKEAT/0218/17, the EAT considered whether a hospital trust had fairly dismissed a consultant for misconduct.

    This case illustrates that a series of acts of misconduct can, taken together, amount to gross misconduct in some circumstances. The EAT considered the correct focus was on whether the employee's actions had undermined the relationship of trust and confidence, not whether one act on its own could amount to gross misconduct. However, employers should always exercise caution before reaching a decision to dismiss an employee with no prior warnings where there is no clear act of gross misconduct. In this case, the tribunal was entitled to find that dismissal was within the range of reasonable responses open to the employer. However, this will not be so in every case.

    Of course as ever every case will trun on it;s own facts.

    Otherwise I agree with Alice's approach

    All the best


  • Hi Lou,

    I would say it depends if the allegations are of different 'types'. So if the hearing was to discuss three conduct allegations and one absence allegation I might give one warning for conduct and one warning for absence to run concurrently. You wouldnt give three warnings for conduct.

    Depending on your handbook/policies it might be that  the severity of the misconduct dictates whether you can go straight to a level 2 or final written warning e.g. for gross misconduct-although you should be careful about this when thinking about potential tibunal claims. In those cases the three conduct issues would result in one level 2/final written warning as combined they constitute a significant loss of trust in the employee. 

    Hope this makes sense!



    • Hi Alice,


      Thank you that is helpful.



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