Does Swearing in the Workplace Constitute Misconduct?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 10 March 2023
Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI
Issues covered: Disciplinary; Swearing

In the recent GB case Ms H Dadhania v SAP(UK) Ltd and Others 3307319/2020, it was deemed by the judge, Andrew Gumbiti-Zimuto, that swearing is ‘fairly commonplace’ and has lost the ‘shock value’ that it once carried in an arguably more conservative society. Generally, if a business wishes to make foul, inappropriate and offensive language a disciplinary offence, this should be covered in their disciplinary rules as an example of misconduct.

However, the context within which swearing is utilised remains key. For example, the use of expletives against an employee to intimidate or humiliate them or an employee who utilises foul language for harassment and discrimination

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 10/03/2023

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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