Can we still dismiss an employee for an act of gross misconduct which took place several months ago?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 4 May 2021
Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI
Issues covered: Discipline and Grievance; Gross Misconduct; Dismissal

If you were aware of the alleged act of misconduct at the time and did not initiate an investigation process, this could have potential implications in relation to the fairness of any subsequent dismissal. In order for a dismissal to be fair, it should not only be for one of the potentially fair reasons (of which misconduct is one), but you must also have acted reasonably in treating that reason as sufficient to justify dismissing the employee. Under the LRA Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures, a meeting should be held with the employee "without reasonable delay".

Further information would be required as to the circumstances of any delay in this particular case but, in

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 04/05/2021

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI

The main content of this article was provided by Chris Fullerton. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email

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