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We are a domestic cleaning business directly employing 26 staff who work closely in teams of two for six to eight hours per day. The truculent, rude, unprofessional and generally "unsociable" behaviour of one them has encouraged her working partner to hand in her notice. The cumulative affect of this person's..... (i)non-communication (she does not engage in conversation all day despite being picked up in the morning, dropped off in the afternoon and working all day together: (ii) poor work ethic (on Friday 24 January she feigned illness in order to have a day off sick when she had been saying all week she was "dreading the workload on Friday"); (iii) laziness, in that she does not properly "pull her weight" and take an equal share of the workload responsibility; and (iv) lack of professionalism (rudeness to customers and refusal to wear full uniform) (v) recent incidence of malicious and threatening text messages to her working partner .....has led the latter to hand in her notice on the grounds that it is intolerable and stressful to carry on working with her any longer. There are two other teams with whom she might be deployed, but they also refuse to work with her on a permanent basis, having head previous casual experience of working with her and taken a similar dislike to her poor all-round attitude, interpersonal skills and shoddy work. Can we make a case for dismissal on the grounds of gross misconduct? Her unacceptable behaviour is damaging the business through the enforced resignation of otherwise happy and effective staff. We are in danger of further good people leaving us if forced to work with her. This might eventually affect the business to such an extent that it becomes unviable and the livelihoods of a number of families affected. She is not pregnant, a member of an ethnic minority, disabled or gay. I look forward to hearing from you. Regards XXXXX XXXXX
Apologies, thought I had put that; 7 Feb 2011, so nearly two years
She has had several "shots across the bows" from the owner of the business, but we have not tackled things beyond that generally allowing her the benefit of the doubt. This recent "bullying" of her partner with malicious texts and the latter's subsequent resignation has brought things to a head.
Thanks for your comprehensive response. However, what employer would wish to retain the services of an employee whom others refuse to work with and who precipitates the resignation of their colleagues?. How could a tribunal construe that not to be anything other than misconduct so serious as to justify their dismissal?