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Employment law – summary dismal without entitlement to a period of notice

Comment 30th July 2010

Any employee dismissed from their post for gross misconduct or a serious criminal act should not be entitled to their full contractual period of notice. As the law stands they are entitled to their contractual period of notice or pay in leu of notice, irrespective of the circumstances of their dismissal.

Why does this matter?

A former public sector worker who failed to return from a magistrate’s court hearing because he was sent to prison for alleged child pornography offence successfully sued his former employee because they terminated his employment without giving him notice. A former ambulance driver who was banned for two years after a traffic accident in which a women driver died, was summarily dismissed by his employer and then successfully forced them to settle out of court for breach of contract for not giving him notice of termination of contract, despite the fact he could no longer continue to work.


Employers should have the right to immediately terminate the employment of any employee who has committed serious employment or criminal acts. As it stands the employer is expected to pay notice irrespective of the employers ability to do their job, i.e. they have lost their driving license or they can’t even attend work, because they are in prison.

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