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Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Solicitor Advocate
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  Award winning lawyer with over 15 years experience
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does swearing constitute gross misconduct

Resolved Question:

does swearing constitute gross misconduct
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 7 years ago.

Generally the expectation is that swearing could be considered - depending upon the circumstances - be considered to gross misconduct.

The use of foul and abusive language in certain workshop and factory floor environments must be commonplace between employees and would not ordinarily justify dismissal.

However, where foul and abusive language is used by an employee against his boss, particularly in circumstances where an employee is refusing to carry out a reasonable order, this has been held to justify instant dismissal.

Similarly, where an employee uses foul and abusive language in order to intimidate or humiliate a more junior employee, this is likely to expose an employer to a claim in the Employment Tribunal and may also justify the instant dismissal of the employee who used such language.

I hope that this helps

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I was having an argument with a female colleague in the workshop. I stated what about all of your f..... mistakes. followed by an apology for swearing. The following morning

I offered a further apoligy which was accepted.

Now the Dealer Principal want to make it a gross misconduct issue.


Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 7 years ago.

I rather think that this would be a little harsh and the correct resolution may well be for you to get a written warning rather than dismissal.

I hope that this helps

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