Summary dismissal letter: gross misconduct

This is a template letter verifying summary dismissal - often called dismissal without notice for gross misconduct (for example, for theft, fraud, or violence).
Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland
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About this document

An act of gross misconduct is considered to be serious enough to overturn the contract between employer and employee, so justifying summary dismissal.

Exactly what an organisation regards as acts of this nature should be clear from its disciplinary rules. The ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures recommends that employers should tell their employees what it constitutes.

It is important note that to avoid a tribunal claim or to win a case, it is essential that the appropriate procedures are in place within your organisation and that you follow them. In particular, it is worth dealing very thoroughly and carefully with how you prepare for and give notice.

In this letter you are setting out the subject matter of your complaint. This is the time to do your homework, take statements from anyone else involved, then present the employee with your case. A well drawn letter at this stage will enable your employee's adviser to see the full position and advise your employee accordingly. A bad letter will encourage an application to a tribunal. We strongly recommend that you read further about the ACAS Code of Conduct.

Our employment letters show different styles of approach. Managerial authority is always present, but there is more sympathy in some than others, depending on the degree of blameworthiness of the employee. A gentle style may be important to preserve the goodwill of a faltering starter who is struggling to make the grade, but it is important to be very firm with for example, a blatant disregard of safety procedures.

Application and features

  • Formal letter suitable for any employee or any employer, no matter the business type or size
  • Written in plain English


  • Details of the parties involved
  • The legal position
  • Employer’s legal rights
  • Proposed course of action

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.

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