• Helen Manson

Help! An employee has been charged with a criminal offence...what should I do?

Can I discipline the employee?

The fact an employee has been charged with, or convicted of, a criminal offence that occurred outside the workplace is not necessarily a reason to take disciplinary action.

However, it may be fair for the employer to dismiss the employee, for example where continued employment would seriously damage the employer's reputation.

The employer must carry out its own investigation and follow a fair procedure before dismissing the employee or taking any other disciplinary action.


Will the employee's action bring the company into disrepute?

Will it impact on their suitability for the job role or impact on relationships with current or future clients or employees?

You may wish to suspend an employee from work until the outcome of the criminal investigation and trial is known. But before doing this, consider the above and the seriousness of the offence.


Consider having a policy to deal with these circumstances, and always ensure you have a clause in your contract to allow you to suspend an employee when necessary.

Statutory Ban

A potentially fair reason for dismissal is due to a statutory ban, whereby the employee's employment would represent an illegal act e.g vehicle drivers will be unable to drive if they have been banned from driving. Or you may wish to consider redeployment if alternative roles are available.

For further advice, get in contact with us at

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