06 July 2010 #Employment
In Charlton v Orange PCS Ltd ET/2513166/09 the Tribunal has held (in a majority verdict) that a manager who allegedly attempted to touch a male colleague`s genitals at a work related social event, was fairly dismissed for gross misconduct. This was despite him having worked for the employer for 9 years and having an unblemished disciplinary record until that point in time.
The Tribunal made the decision in part because of the employer`s comprehensive bullying and harassment policy, which the Claimant had breached. The Claimant was fully aware of the policy and was in fact responsible for informing the employees in his team about the policy. In light of the clear policy, the ET found that summary dismissal was within the band of reasonable responses open to the employer, although they acknowledged that "some employers may have taken a more lenient view of the conduct in question"
This case highlights the importance of having clear company policies, which are communicated to employees when dealing with potential gross misconduct situations. Employmentbuddy has a comprehensive Anti Harassment Policy and guidance note, along with a Disciplinary Policy and guidance note, which are available to subscribers of the site.