Sunday, 26 February 2012

Employment Rights: Summary Dismissal

Q: Can I be fired with immediate effect?


A: Part 1

A summary dismissal is legal, but ONLY when an employee is fired with immediate effect for gross misconduct. Gross misconduct is behaviour that makes it immediately and definitively impossible to maintain an employment relationship. Examples of this are:
    • Criminal damage to work property
    • Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol during work hours
    • Theft or fraud
    • Discrimination or harassment of others in the workplace
    • Negligence
    • Breach of company policy (improper use of internet, phone, etc.)
    • Insubordination
    • Falsifying experience and qualifications or general incompetence
    • Leaking confidential information

A summary dismissal still requires proper procedure, i.e., the employee must receive a letter notifying him/her of the dismissal, which must explicitly detail the misconduct of which the employee is being accused. If this is not the case, the dismissal is unfair.

N.B. The employer does not need proof of the misconduct; suspicion is enough.

57 comments:

N Honore said...

How can that be right that suspicion is enough for immediate termination of employment. What if it is untrue??

Trinbago Rights said...

It's not right, but it allows the employer to instantly get rid of an employee who may be a threat to the company.

If the employee challenges the dismissal, then it may suggest that he/she did not commit the offence.

This can now lead to a claim of either unfair or wrongful dismissal.

Anonymous said...

what happens if the employee is part of a union?

Trinbago Rights said...

Not even a union could defend an employee from a proper and legal summary dismissal.

However, the process is determined by the union agreement.

Anonymous said...

I am a cashier at a drug store. My manager balance the draw with me after my shift is over, everything works out. But then when the cash and accounts is sent to a person in higher authority, money is always taken out of my pay because she said i came up short. When i ask my manager for someone to explain where and how i was short, i am totally ignored and the money is still deducted from my pay. Mind you i have a baby, i am a single mother, i have to leave my baby with a my mom to work night-shift for these people and they are exploiting not only me but other employees as well have to put up with this situation and it is just not fair. When i began the job i had to work a week inside, and i was told by the manager that i will get my weeks pay if/when i decide to leave the job. I have tried to cope but the deductions in my pay have only gotten higher and i can't see why my draw balance with my manager every time but then the higher authorities send a text message saying i am short and no one can tell me how..... so i decided to leave the job and i am sure by now you can guess i was never paid my one week salary which i had to work a whole week night shift, leaving my baby girl with my mom, spending the night by my sister because its to dangerous to travel home at nights.... The manager said the boss say i have no money to get an that is final, she has no say. I don't know where to find the boss as he randomly drops by his business. I am not in a position to put him in court because i don't have the finance to do that. What am i to do?? Most likely i would just have to end up another statistic of employee exploitation.... But God don't sleep as we say..... I wish someone could really assist me and make a difference, set an example so other people would not have to face my situation. Employers do these things because the know they will not be caught and punished for it, they are aware that no one really cares for the rights of workers and they are just accustom getting away every single time slipping through the system. Maybe i my only actual hope would be Ian Allen...

Trinbago Rights said...

How long has this been going on? Based on the information you provided, this is Constructive dismissal.

Now, in order for us to determine how to proceed, I need more information from you. So please contact me via the email address provided in the "About Me" section.

Emillita Wozniak said...

I was dissmised a month ago for "breach of confidenciality" I dismissed with immediate effect without given a letter of termination & from what I have learned. I do have grounds for wrongful dismissal. Why? based on the laws of confidenciality. How am'I to precive the actions of my empolyer as confidential? however can I pursue this matter to civl court? Because there was never any contractual agreement on the company's rules of confidentiality.Please do feel free to contact me a my email emillitaw@yahoo.com because I do not know how else to access a response from this site on my concerns.

Anonymous said...

I worked at bgtt for four years and failed a drug test once and they gave me summary dismissal. Their policy at that time was to help an idividul who has a substance abuse problem. They changed their policy to zero tolerance after they dismissed me. They also payed for six months counselling after they fired me. They never gave me an appeal either. Do I have any case against them in court???

Anonymous said...

i have a co-worker who submitted copies of the same reports over a 10 month period with just changing the dates on the reports.this information is useless and false.Based on this he is charged with gross misconduct and his hearings are going on all now.However he alone was caught and upon investigating thier are others who are doing the same but submitting the original.he admitted to what he did though.could he be fired for this?

Anonymous said...

Is it right for a worker to work from monday to saturday every week without getting a day off.

Chris & Candice said...

can you direct me as to where in the law this is stated?

Trinbago Rights said...

The Employment Rights Act 1996 - UK law followed in Trinidad & Tobago.

Trinbago Rights said...

Well, in this case Sunday is your day of.

It's not about the amount of days, it's the amount of hours you work. You really should not be forced to work more than 48 hours unless you want to.

Anonymous said...

Hi,i work in the cinema as a cashier,ppl come here alot,on our system has tickets with no price because they are known as complimentary tickets,but the only way we can bring up one is if the patron has a special card to redeem them,now lets just say that on a busy day i brought up some by accident,or couldnt remember. After they close out they saw a good amount of complimentary tickets with no special card to account for it,and they are saying that i gave away tickets,but i didnt take money for it. So they are saying that a good amount of money is missing,but not physical money.can i be held for stealing something that i didnt steal?it looks like In short terms to them i gave away complimentary tickets to ppl,....

Trinbago Rights said...

Although you may not have stolen anything, it appears that way to your employers. Based on suspicion, they can fire you stating gross negligence.

Anonymous said...

I work in the public service and i am being harassed in work and outside work by a male employee for a long time its not stoppin what can i do?

Trinbago Rights said...

Is it sexual harassment or some other kind? You must inform your employer of this in writing. If you need more assistance with getting this letter done, e-mail me.

Anonymous said...

working at an establishment shift system. One shift is 9hs long and is paid at the same rate per day as the other shifts. The other shifts are 8 & 7hrs respectively. Is that legal?

Also, what does the law says about employers "cutting" one's salary because he did not clock his card while the employee never misses a day at work on shift

Anonymous said...

Hello G♥̸̨♥̸̨D̷̐‎​ ⌣̊┈̥-̶̶̯̥͡♥̸̨͡morning♥̸̶̨̥͡-̶̯͡┈̥.if someone works for a company for 18 years without a contract is that illegal & in the 18 years of service he is now made aware of the company's policies & procedures Ѡђαt should the employee do τ̅☺ have this issue addressed.

Anonymous said...

Hello how long does a employment issue normally takes in the industrial court of trinidad & tobago

Trinbago Rights said...

As quick as a few months to a few years... no can tell until the matter gets there.

Trinbago Rights said...

You have a contract, it's just not in writing, and that's absolutely fine.

If the employee is now being made aware of company policies, I assume that they were unwritten? If not why didn't he know about these policies in 18 years? I'm not blaming the employee fully here, but I think there is some responsibility to know especially after such a long period.

Anonymous said...

i would like to know, if your employer doesnt pay you on time and gives you no notice or reason as to why... is there an steps within your rights that you can take as en employee that your can take, or do you just have to wait it out... please get back to me as soon as you can....

Trinbago Rights said...

That's is an unfair practice and you should put your concern in writing to your employer. Working 7 hours cannot be paid the same as 8 or 9.

If you don't clock in, how would the employer know exactly when you got to work?

Trinbago Rights said...

Grievance procedure. Start with a letter.

Anonymous said...

hi there, I would like some information please...

There is a co-worker who stole from her previous place of employment and we recently found out about it. We spoke to her previous employer and he himself told us she stole from his company. She has been employed with us for approximately 5 months and is now pregnant. Is it okay for us to dismiss her without her taking us to court etc?

Trinbago Rights said...

Are you mad? You can't fire someone for something they did somewhere else...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, we were wondering because she deals with cash in our company and due to fear of her attempting to steal again, dismissal ran across our minds...

Trinbago Rights said...

Don't make that mistake. Just make sure you monitor her. If I was the consultant for your company, I would've brought up the topic with her and gotten her side of the story.

Anonymous said...

Hi Goodday

I have a situation where an employee was fired for disciplinary issues but was given the notice while on maternity leave with the effective date of termination being the first day back.

the employee has now initiated action through the ministry of labour.

Trinbago Rights said...

Was she given warnings before? Was she given a chance to defend herself?

Anonymous said...

how long does a worker need to be on contract before being made permanent

Trinbago Rights said...

Depends on the company, but it usually becomes automatic after 4 years.

Anonymous said...

Hi im a cashier at a food outlet they do not pay n.I.s and health surcharge but when I got sick they themselves did not want to pay me what is the best action to take against them

Trinbago Rights said...

Send me a private e-mail.

Anonymous said...

A child fell and got injured at the school where we work she got injured by clay blocks olaced to decorate the yard they were removed when she fell however they dismissed us one month after the incident bear in mind they sent us in the yard to remove decorations with the children

Unknown said...

Hello, what is the best way in dealing with an unfair dismissal. I've been dismissed and my reputation tarnished by the nature of dismissal. I've spoken to an attorney who is charging me more than I can afford, especially now that my income is no more.

Trinbago Rights said...

You've come to the right place. Send me an e-mail.

Unknown said...

Is it legal for employers to have voice recording devices in managers and supervisors office without them knowing??

Trinbago Rights said...

Of course not.

Melanie Bijoux said...

I have been employed with a company in the private sector for 4 months but now I wish to resign. My contract states that "any permanent staff who wishes to terminate their employment with the company is expected to give 30 days notice."
Is it illegal in trinidad and tobago if ichoose to resign with immediate effect in this instance? Would i be required to pay for the period of notice that was not given?

Th27 said...

Is there a limit as to how many night shifts an employee can be rostered without consulting her?

Trinbago Rights said...

As long as it's victimisation, there's no limit.

Anonymous said...

Can an employer reduce an employee's rate of pay?

Trinbago Rights said...

Not unilaterally.

jacob wihby said...

i have an employee who recently walked into my factory floor with a weapon (a cutlass). the staff contacted me in panic stating that they felt afraid for their lives. this same employee has also had a recent history of deliberately misusing high;y dangerous machinery, and endangered the lives of a few of my staff whom were using the equipment (wood working machines). the staff have individually approached me, and stated that they feared that worse could happen, and that they felt as though their lives were at risk with this employees presence. i too have witnessed some of these violent acts, which were deliberate. i believe that his actions fall under 'gross misconducted' as shown above, do i have grounds for immediate dismissal ?

Willice Khan said...

Can an employer change an employee's job title and job description unilaterally? The change made by the employer is a demotion in terms of responsibilities.

Trinbago Rights said...

No.

Anonymous said...

Hi good day. If the employee doesn't receive the letter immediately how long does the employer have to come up with it? If so..

Trinbago Rights said...

A dismissal letter? An employer does not have to give a dismissal letter. Verbal is just as legal depending on the circumstances.

mega.stephen.s said...

Hi! My story is that I left my previous job I worked for four years, for a new company which promised more pay. So it was agreed, in email, that after a '3 month probation period', my pay will raise to a specified amount. Now, at the end of the 3rd month, I got called into an impromptu meeting with managers and they said that due to the instances I've arrived late, they are extending my probation by 1 month and will not be increasing my salary. Now, I'm on my forth month and I arrived late for an instance unfortunately, and now I fear that they'll use this to stun my pay indefinitely. My issue is that I left a permanent career for the guise of increased pay but never received it. Is there anything that I can do to challenge the decision made by the new company to stop my pay increase?

Trinbago Rights said...

Stop reaching to work late!

Anonymous said...

can an employee be fired for not showing up to work

Trinbago Rights said...

Not showing up for a valid reason, or not showing up to go Maracas for shark?

Fernes davids said...

I got fired today because i walked away when the boss showed behaviour of aggression and because i walked away i was told to leave. What can i do?

Trinbago Rights said...

Contact the union: https://www.facebook.com/pg/ttworkersassociation/about/?ref=page_internal

Anonymous said...

If you working on a truck an ah driver jack u up for no reason help me out