Employment Law experts
2nd December 2016

A Greater Manchester Police officer is waiting to hear her fate after being found guilty of gross misconduct. An independent panel recommended that Assistant Chief Constable Rebekah Sutcliffe should be given a final written warning but allowed to keep her job, following an incident at a gala dinner.

The Manchester Evening News reports that the disciplinary panel found her behaviour to be ‘aggressive, bullying and cruel’ but recommended she not be dismissed due to her exemplary record and the fact she is undergoing therapy to address her behaviour. The Deputy Chief Constable will now decide whether or not to accept the panel’s recommendation.

Employment law consultant Jacob Demeza-Wilkinson says: “It is important that a proportionate outcome is reached during a disciplinary process. It is perfectly acceptable to take into account length of service and previous disciplinary records when considering your decision, but at the same time, employers need to be very mindful of setting precedents. The decision that you make during a disciplinary process can affect how you are able to act in future cases as well. Generally, where there is proven gross misconduct it would be advisable to consider dismissal very carefully as, if you do not, you are potentially conceding that certain acts of gross misconduct are somewhat accepted within your company. This could lead to increased misbehaviour by members of staff moving forward as they will see that you have taken a lenient approach.”

He continues: “Greater Manchester Police are a public authority and therefore have different disciplinary processes than those which a typical company would have. It is very important that the correct procedures are followed where gross misconduct is a consideration.”

ELAS provides advice on how to handle disciplinary cases, including the policies and processes you should have in place and tribunal representation. For more information go to www.elas.uk.com/our-services/employment-law/ or call 0161 785 2000


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