Employee conduct: NHSScotland PIN policy

This Partnership Information Network (PIN) policy is not in use after 1 March 2020. Policies in force after 1 March 2020 are on https://workforce.nhs.scot/policies

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Annex C: Misconduct and Gross Misconduct

1 Misconduct

There is no legal definition of misconduct. However, it is recognised that misconduct is any type of behaviour or conduct at work that falls below the standard required by the employer or is in breach of organisational policy.

2 Gross Misconduct

If, after investigation, the offence is considered by a disciplinary hearing panel to constitute gross misconduct, it could lead to summary dismissal without notice for a first offence. Acts of gross misconduct are those which are so serious in themselves, or have such serious consequences, that the relationship of trust and confidence, which is needed between the employer and employee, has been damaged irreparably.

Examples of gross misconduct may include:

  • Assault;
  • Theft or unauthorised removal of NHS property;
  • Abuse of a fellow employee or any other person;
  • The falsification of pay sheets, clock cards or other wages or financial data; fraud or attempted fraud; or fraudulently claiming expenses or other benefits;
  • Conduct likely to lead to a breach of peace, threatening behaviour, gross indecency;
  • Inability to perform duties due to the influence of drink or drugs (other than those taken under medical direction), or unauthorised consumption of alcohol or drugs while on duty;
  • Criminal offences committed outside working hours which affect the employee's ability to perform their duties, particularly where there is an element of trust involved or it is felt there could be danger to staff, patients, or visitors;
  • Wilful failure to adhere to safety rules where this would create a measurable risk of danger to others or damage to machinery etc.; tampering with safety, fire or first aid equipment;
  • Gross negligence or irresponsibility;
  • Wilful or grossly negligent damage to NHS property or equipment;
  • Persistent wilful refusal to perform to the required standards of the job role;
  • Breaches of confidentiality;
  • Unprofessional conduct as defined by reference to generally accepted standards of conduct or ethics within a staff group;
  • Persistent unauthorised absence;
  • Inappropriate access and use of IT systems, software or the internet/intranet;
  • Wilful disregard of equality and diversity policies;
  • Significant or persistent bullying or harassment of a fellow employee or any other person; or
  • Wilful failure to adhere to clinical governance/infection control policies (e.g. hand hygiene).

This list is intended only to outline the types of gross misconduct which would be found unacceptable. It is not an exhaustive list of offences for which dismissal without previous warning may take place.


Email: Darren Paterson

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