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Gross misconduct or summary dismissal letter template

£ 15

If an allegation of gross misconduct 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 once a disciplinary hearing has been held.

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How long to understand and prepare this letter?
5 mins
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gross misconduct or summary dismissal letter template

What is a Gross misconduct or summary dismissal letter?

If an employee commits a serious offence (known as gross misconduct), summary dismissal is possible.

In this scenario, a letter dismissing an employee on grounds of gross misconduct should be used to set out the reasons for their dismissal and formalise the process.

Best practice timescale for this to be issued
When should this letter be issued?
As soon as possible after a decision to terminate has been made, but only after the correct procedure has been followed
Issued by who, to whom
Who should issue this letter, and to whom?
The Employer (you) to the Employee
Applicable legal jurisdictions
In which jurisdictions can this letter be used?
Great Britain & NI (United Kingdom), Worldwide

What steps should I take to ensure the effective, compliant execution of this letter?

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 and draft dismissal letter HR / Legal Team Immediately after disciplinary hearing
4 Issue the Gross Misconduct Dismissal Letter 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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United Kingdom
  • Employment Rights Act 1996: Outlines legal provisions for summary dismissal, including cases of gross misconduct.

  • Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures: Provides guidance on fair and transparent disciplinary processes, including the dismissal of employees for gross misconduct.

  • Equality Act 2010: Ensures that dismissal decisions are not discriminatory and do not infringe upon employees' protected characteristics.

  • Data Protection Act 2018 (incorporating GDPR): Mandates the handling of personal data within the dismissal letter in compliance with data protection principles.

  • Best Practice: Clarity and Fairness: Ensure that the dismissal letter clearly outlines the reasons for dismissal, adheres to procedural fairness, and offers the employee an opportunity to appeal the decision.

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Other territories

Refer to your local employment legislation / labor laws to support the execution of the template. Review the wording for local accuracy.

Gross misconduct or summary dismissal [Delete this line]

[Company name]

[Sender address]



[Recipient name]

[Recipient address]


Dear [Recipient first name],

I refer to the disciplinary hearing held on [date] following which you were informed that the company had decided to dismiss you 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.

Following investigations carried out by the company in accordance with its disciplinary procedure, the company considered that you were guilty of gross misconduct. You attended the disciplinary hearing on [date].

Despite listening to your representations at this hearing, we concluded that your conduct was sufficiently serious to warrant summary dismissal.

The specific reasons for your dismissal are: [state reasons].

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]

What communication / process sequence is this part of?

Previous step
Disciplinary hearing script

Our Disciplinary Hearing Script Template ensures structured proceedings, promoting fairness and adherence to disciplinary policies during hearings.

This step
Gross misconduct or summary dismissal letter template
Next step
Dismissal appeal letter template

If you wish to appeal against your dismissal, send this model letter template to your previous employer.

How might this be used in practice?

Scenario: Summary Dismissal for Gross Misconduct at ABC Limited

ABC Limited, a prominent finance company, faces an allegation of gross misconduct against one of its employees, John Smith. 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.


John Smith, a senior finance executive at ABC Limited, has been with the company for five years and has generally been regarded as a reliable and diligent employee. However, a recent incident has come to light where John was found to have engaged in fraudulent activity by falsifying financial records to conceal personal financial gain.

Suspension and Appointment of Investigator

Upon receiving the allegations of gross misconduct against John Smith, Sarah exercises her discretion to suspend him from his duties with immediate effect. The suspension is a precautionary measure to protect the integrity of the investigation process and prevent any potential interference with evidence or witnesses.

Sarah promptly appoints an independent investigator with expertise in employment law and disciplinary procedures to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations against John. The investigator is tasked with gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and compiling a comprehensive report of findings.

Appointment of Disciplinary Hearing Chair

In addition to appointing an investigator, Sarah selects a qualified and impartial individual to serve as the disciplinary hearing chair. The disciplinary hearing chair is responsible for overseeing the disciplinary proceedings, ensuring adherence to procedural fairness, and making a disciplinary decision based on the evidence presented.

To uphold transparency and accountability, Sarah ensures that the disciplinary hearing chair is not a director within the company, thereby allowing for an impartial adjudication process and the possibility of appeals if necessary.

Investigation Process

The appointed investigator conducts a thorough and objective investigation into the allegations of gross misconduct against John Smith. This includes gathering witness statements, reviewing relevant documentation, and examining any other evidence pertinent to the case.

Throughout the investigation process, Sarah maintains regular communication with the investigator to provide any necessary support or guidance and to ensure that the investigation progresses in a timely and efficient manner.

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 before making a disciplinary decision. If John is found guilty of gross misconduct, the disciplinary hearing chair imposes an appropriate disciplinary sanction, which may include summary dismissal.

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 him with 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, chaired by an impartial individual who was not involved in the initial disciplinary proceedings, ensures that the appeals process is fair, transparent, and impartial.

Communication to Staff

Sarah works with senior management to communicate the dismissal of John Smith to other employees in a sensitive and appropriate manner, ensuring confidentiality and respect for privacy while also reaffirming the company's commitment to upholding ethical standards and maintaining a safe and respectful workplace environment.

Why buy our Gross misconduct or summary dismissal letter template?

  • It's easily editable and implementable, saving you time and money
  • It's designed by CIPD accedited Chartered HR practitioners with operational experience in this area
  • You will maintain compliance with ACAS guidelines, legislation, and industry best practices
What other advantages does buying from offer?
  • Email notifications for any updates made to this template or its accompanying materials
  • 12 months of unrestricted access without any additional costs (any update in that period is free to you)
  • A 25% discount on all library, toolkit, and template purchases/renewals

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