Gross misconduct or summary dismissal for intoxication letter template

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If an allegation of gross misconduct for intoxication is upheld, send this model letter to the employee to confirm their dismissal without notice or payment in lieu of notice.

This letter must only be sent after suspension / investigation / disciplinary hearing etc..

Why this letter is necessary

The purpose of a Gross Misconduct Dismissal for Intoxication letter template is to formally notify an employee that they are being dismissed from their position due to gross misconduct related to intoxication. This letter is an essential part of the disciplinary process and serves several important purposes:

  1. Formal Communication: The letter provides a formal and documented communication of the decision to terminate the employee's employment. It outlines the specific reason for the dismissal, which is gross misconduct related to intoxication.

  2. Legal Compliance: By providing a written letter, the employer ensures compliance with employment laws and regulations that may require a clear and documented reason for termination.

  3. Clarity and Transparency: The letter clearly explains the reason for the employee's dismissal, leaving no room for misunderstandings. It outlines the employer's stance on unacceptable behavior related to intoxication in the workplace.

  4. Evidence in Case of Dispute: In the unfortunate event of legal action or dispute, the dismissal letter serves as evidence that the employee was dismissed for gross misconduct, providing a record of the decision-making process.

  5. Employee Awareness: The letter makes the employee aware of the severity of their actions and the consequences they face due to gross misconduct. It emphasizes the seriousness of the situation and the employer's commitment to maintaining a safe and professional work environment.

  6. Finality: The dismissal letter signifies the final step in the disciplinary process, making it clear that the employer has exhausted all other options before taking the decision to terminate the employee's employment.

  7. Reminder of Policies: The letter may reference the company's policies and code of conduct, reminding employees of the expected behavior and the consequences of violating those policies.

  • Employment Rights Act 1996: Provides a statutory framework for the termination of employment contracts. The Act allows employers to dismiss employees for gross misconduct, including intoxication, which can be considered a serious breach of employment contract terms.

  • Equality Act 2010: While intoxication itself is not a protected characteristic, the Act requires employers to treat all employees fairly and consistently. Dismissing an employee for intoxication-related misconduct should be applied consistently without discriminating against any particular group.

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974: Employers have a legal duty to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their employees. Allowing an intoxicated employee to continue working can pose serious safety risks, and dismissal for intoxication supports a safe work environment.

  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999: Employers are required to assess the risks to health and safety in the workplace, and intoxication-related incidents can be considered a breach of these regulations.

  • The Transport and Works Act 1992: This Act makes it an offense for certain workers, such as those in the railway industry, to be unfit for duty due to drugs or alcohol. Dismissing an employee for intoxication can demonstrate compliance with this Act.

  • Company Policies and Code of Conduct: Many companies have explicit policies and codes of conduct that prohibit employees from being intoxicated in the workplace. Dismissing an employee for intoxication reinforces the importance of adhering to these policies.

  • Contractual Terms: Employment contracts may include provisions about expected behavior and conduct, which can include adhering to rules related to intoxication. A gross misconduct dismissal can be supported by a breach of these contractual terms.

It's important to note that while dismissal for gross misconduct related to intoxication may be justified in certain circumstances, employers must follow proper procedures, conduct a thorough investigation, and provide the employee with an opportunity to respond to the allegations before making a final decision. Failure to follow fair procedures could result in an unfair dismissal claim.

Workflow sequence

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Gross misconduct or summary dismissal for intoxication letter template
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Dismissal appeal outcome confirmation letter template

If a former employee has appealed against their dismissal and an appeal hearing has been held, send this model letter as confirmation of the outcome.

Implementation timeline

Step Description Responsibility Timing
1 Investigation and gathering of evidence HR / Investigation Team 1-2 weeks before decision
2 Conduct disciplinary hearing HR / Management Within 1 week of completing investigation
3 Determine gross misconduct (intoxication) and draft dismissal letter HR / Legal Team Immediately after disciplinary hearing
4 Issue the Gross Misconduct Dismissal Letter (for intoxication) HR / Management Within 1-2 days of decision
5 Follow-up actions and provision of support to affected parties HR / Management Ongoing support and communication as needed

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Practical example

Scenario: Suspension and Investigation for Alleged Intoxication at Work at ABC Limited

ABC Limited, a respected financial institution, faces an allegation of an employee, John Smith, being intoxicated at work. HR Manager Sarah takes immediate action by suspending John pending an investigation into the allegations. She appoints an independent investigator and a disciplinary hearing chair to ensure fairness and impartiality throughout the process.

Suspension and Appointment of Investigator

Upon receiving the report of John Smith being intoxicated at work, Sarah exercises her discretion to suspend him from his duties immediately. The suspension is a precautionary measure to maintain the safety of the workplace and allow for an impartial investigation into the allegations.

Sarah promptly appoints an independent investigator with expertise in workplace misconduct and disciplinary procedures. The investigator is tasked with conducting a thorough and unbiased investigation into the circumstances surrounding John's alleged intoxication at work, gathering evidence, and interviewing relevant witnesses.

Appointment of Disciplinary Hearing Chair

To ensure fairness and procedural integrity, Sarah selects a qualified and impartial individual to serve as the disciplinary hearing chair. This individual is responsible for overseeing the disciplinary proceedings, ensuring adherence to procedural fairness, and making a disciplinary decision based on the evidence presented.

To avoid any potential conflicts of interest, Sarah ensures that the disciplinary hearing chair is not a director within the company, allowing for an impartial adjudication process and the possibility of appeals if necessary.

Investigation Process

The appointed investigator conducts a thorough investigation into the allegation of John being intoxicated at work. This includes gathering witness statements, reviewing CCTV footage or other evidence, and examining any other relevant documentation.

Throughout the investigation process, Sarah maintains regular communication with the investigator to provide support and guidance and ensure that the investigation progresses efficiently and objectively.

Disciplinary Hearing

Once the investigation is complete, the disciplinary hearing is convened, with the appointed disciplinary hearing chair presiding over the proceedings. John Smith is given the opportunity to respond to the allegations and present his case, accompanied by a representative or colleague if desired.

The disciplinary hearing chair carefully considers the evidence presented by both parties on the balance of probabilities before making a disciplinary decision. If John is found guilty of being intoxicated at work, the disciplinary hearing chair imposes an appropriate disciplinary sanction, which may include a formal warning, suspension, or dismissal depending on the severity of the misconduct.

Communication of Outcome

After the disciplinary decision is made, Sarah communicates the outcome to relevant parties within the organisation in a manner that respects confidentiality and privacy. While specific details of the disciplinary proceedings are not disclosed, Sarah ensures that employees are informed of the company's commitment to upholding standards of conduct and addressing misconduct appropriately.

Follow-Up and Appeals

Following the disciplinary hearing, Sarah ensures that all necessary administrative tasks are completed, including notifying John of the disciplinary decision in writing and providing information on the appeals process.

If John chooses to appeal the disciplinary decision, Sarah facilitates the appeals process by appointing an independent appeals panel to review the case and consider any new evidence or arguments presented. The appeals panel ensures that the appeals process is fair, transparent, and impartial.

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Reading time icon
Time to read / prep / use
5 mins
Document specs icon
Word count / length
179 words, 1 page A4
Date last reviewed icon
Date last reviewed
1 July 2024
gross misconduct or summary dismissal for intoxication letter template

[Company name]

[Sender address]



[Recipient name]

[Recipient address]


Dear [Recipient first name],


Termination of employment

[It was alleged that you were | You were reported as being] intoxicated on the job during working hours on [date], and you were suspended while a full investigation was carried out by [name].

The investigation concluded that your behaviour on [date] adversely affected the operational efficiency and effectiveness of your department and threatened the safety of other employees. The investigation recommended that a disciplinary hearing be held for you to respond to the [report | allegation].

A disciplinary hearing was held on [date] and you [were | were not] accompanied at the hearing. [Despite your representations ]I have concluded that your behaviour on [date] amounted to gross misconduct in accordance with the company Disciplinary policy. As such, I have decided that you will be dismissed summarily, i.e. without notice or payment in lieu of notice. 

Your last day of service with the company was [date] and all terms and benefits associated with your employment ceased as of that date. Your final pay, including all forms of compensation due to you, will be issued to you in the usual manner.

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You have the right of appeal against this decision. Your appeal should be directed to [Name | the HR Department | HR Services] within [number] days of receiving this letter. It should set out in full the reason(s) for your appeal.


Yours [faithfully | sincerely],



[Sender name]

[Sender job title]

[Sender telephone]
[Sender email]


[For, and on behalf of [Company name] ]

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