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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 52643
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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One of my finance staff has made a serious calculation error

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One of my finance staff has made a serious calculation error in a model over several months that affects our financial standing, is this mistake Gross Misconduct?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks, it's quite a simple one where one of my senior finance team has made a formula error that affects our financial results and potentially our position with the bank and I need to know whether this would constitute Gross Misconduct? Thank you

How long have they worked there for?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
7 years and they are a qualified accountant.

OK thank you for your response and phone call request, I am unable to talk on the phone right now, but leave it with me and I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you

Thanks for your patience. To be honest it is difficult to state with any degree of certainty whether this would be a gross misconduct offence or not. There is no list of what amounts to GM and it would depend on the circumstances. It has to be something which is so serious that it breaches the employer/employee relationship and any trust and confidence in it and makes their continued employment impossible.

Often there has to be intent by the employee for actions to be GM, where they intend to do or say something inappropriate or against rules, procedure, etc (e.g. stealing, fighting, swearing).

However, gross negligence can form part of a GM case and if this person’s actions were so grossly negligent#, when considering their level and experience, then it can also amount to GM even if they were not deliberate.

You also have to give the employee the chance to explain himself, why he may have done this error and if there are any mitigating circumstances. In summary, no one can tell you with certainty whether something is GM or not – there will always be a chance that if you decide it is, a tribunal may decide it is not. However, you can cover yourself by conducting a formal and fair disciplinary procedure and showing you had acted reasonably.

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