When an employee is accused of a crime

When an employee is accused of a crime

September 5, 2019

An employee’s association with criminal activity has the potential to damage your reputation. It can mean that you are put under pressure by colleagues to address the employee, your customers can find out and you can get negative press.

In some cases the employee may pose a threat to your other staff and your operation. In some cases the other employees may believe that the employee poses a threat to them, and come and tell you so.

However it isn’t as straightforward as you may think to dismiss an employee who has been convicted or charged with a crime.

Here’s what ACAS Code says about an employee being accused of a crime:

“If an employee is charged with, or convicted of, a criminal offence this is not normally in itself reason for disciplinary action. Consideration needs to be give to what effect the charge or conviction has on the employee’s suitability to do the job and their relationship with the employer, work colleagues and customers.”

Lets look at the crime initially.

Not all crimes mean an employee is unsuitable. In a regulated industry such as childcare their will be an obligation to report.

Meaning the decision on suitability may be taken from your hands.

We recently handled a case of theft in a regulated industry (not childcare) and the employer had lost trust and confidence in employee who had admitted that she had taken the money.

We heard of a Day Nursery last week where they had received anonymous allegation that an employee was drug taking and a prostitute.  The key thing is that it was an anonymous allegation, it could be malicious but given that it is a regulated industry you report the allegation and investigate.

The first of these would be described as work related crime, the second would be spare time crime. A criminal activity taking place in their employees private life.

Any dismissal where after investigation it is deemed appropriate for something that is taking place in the employee’s off duty time is likely to be a some other substantial reason (SOSR) dismissal.

To read our article ‘Dealing with arrested staff members’ click here

If you need any assistance with dealing with an employee who has committed a crime, please get in touch on 01527 909436

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