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Termination due to employee misconduct

Your employer may dismiss you without notice if you are found guilty of misconduct. However, your employer must conduct an inquiry before taking any disciplinary action.

What is misconduct

Misconduct is the failure to fulfil the conditions of employment in the contract of service. Examples include theft, dishonesty, disorderly or immoral conduct at work and insubordination.

If an employee has committed an act of misconduct, the employer should conduct an inquiry before deciding whether to dismiss an employee or to take other forms of disciplinary action.

Holding an inquiry

There is no fixed procedure for an inquiry, but as a general guide:

  • The person hearing the inquiry should not be in a position which may suggest bias.
  • If you are being investigated for misconduct, you should have the opportunity to present your case.

Under the Employment Act, your employer may suspend you from work during an inquiry:

  • The suspension period cannot exceed 1 week.
  • You should be paid at least half your salary during suspension.

Actions after an inquiry

If the inquiry finds you guilty of misconduct, your employer may do one of the following:

  • Terminate your service without notice and no salary in lieu of notice will be paid.
  • Instantly downgrade you.
  • Instantly suspend you from work without pay, for not more than 1 week.

If no misconduct is found, your employer must restore the full amount of any salary that was withheld during the suspension period.

Last Updated: 3 October 2016