There are instances in which employers may have the right to discipline and potentially dismiss employees who engage in misconduct outside of the workplace and outside of working hours. Whether this is permissible in principle will depend on whether the conduct impacts on the employment relationship and whether the employee has sufficient and legitimate interest in the conduct. It is not necessary for an employer to await the decision of a criminal court before considering disciplinary action.

Employees may be dismissed for criminal acts committed outside the workplace if it can be shown that the criminal act affects the employer’s business or impacts on it’s reputation.

This will depend on factors such as the nature of the employer’s business, the seniority of the employee and the level of trust placed in the employee, and whether the employee can be identified as an employee or as being associated with the business.

Where employers have been able to show sufficient linkage between the employee and the employer, the employers have been able to establish a basis to discipline and dismiss.


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