UK Employment Law
UK Employment Law Questions Answered by Verified Experts
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Many thanks for your patience. There is no actual definition of what gross misconduct can amount to and this can either be covered by a specific disciplinary policy in work which lists certain things as GM, or by looking at general law and case law and establishing it through that.
If there is a policy in your workplace which specifically lists using company emails/computers to send sexually explicit material then it is likely that this can be treated as GM.
On the other hand, there has been case law where accessing or sending content of a sexual/pornographic nature has amounted to an offence serious enough to justify dismissal.
It is always important to consider the context of such situations though, so if this was a private conversation between two adults, where neither has found this offensive and it has not affected the business or other employees, these would all be mitigating factors which should be taken into account by the employer when reaching a decision.
In the end, the truth is that no one can say with full certainty whether something will lawfully amount to GM or not. One judge hearing your case on one day can come to a completely different conclusion to another Judge sitting on another day. So whilst you can challenge the allegations at the disciplinary and also have the right to appeal the outcome, if the appeal is rejected, your only way forward is to make a claim for unfair dismissal in the employment tribunal. That is when things become that bit more uncertain and you need to seek further professional advice before deciding on whether to embark on a claim.
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No one can predict that - it is in the hands of the employer. Someone new should consider the appeal, so it would have to be a manager who has not been involved in this so far, but predicting the chances of a successful appeal is impossible, especially as this will be down to the decision of one person
yes it does but in your case you will only have continuous employment for 2 years, it is nevertheless a consideration they need to take into account
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