Dereliction of duty is a charge that refers to an intentional or conscious failure of an employee to do his/her duty.
Examples of dereliction of duty include situations where the employee:
- Abandons an asset of the employer in a place where it is at risk. For instance, a company driver might leave the company vehicle in order to visit a friend despite being well aware that the location is a crime-ridden neighbourhood.
- Ignores the client he/she is supposed to be serving in order to finish off the cashing up or administrative work early.
- Knowingly fails to switch on the safety device of a machine operated by a subordinate or colleague.
- Downloads data from a website that the employee knows is infested with viruses.
- Fails to implement the spyware security procedures because he/she is in a hurry to leave.
- Deserts his/her post as a security officer without an acceptable reason.
- Gives the strongroom keys to an unauthorised person in order to be able to go on a long lunch.
Dereliction of duty cannot simply be used in every case where employees have performed their work poorly or failed to carry out instructions. Such problems can very often result not from intentional or conscious decisions but from lack of skill, faulty equipment, misunderstanding of the instruction or other reasons.