1 NHS WALES Local Health Boards DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE AND RULES 1. POLICY STATEMENT 1.1 It is the policy of Local Health Boards to promote good employment relations between them and their staff. Consequently they attach the greatest importance to the principle of fair and consistent treatment of all employees. Local Health Boards recognise the need for the highest standard of conduct of its employees which is fundamental to the purpose of NHS Wales and the service it delivers for the public in Wales. 1.2 It is the policy of Local Health Boards to ensure that fair and effective arrangements exist for dealing with disciplinary matters and to ensure uniform standards are observed. It is considered that the observance of an agreed procedure is in the interests of both managers and employees. It is agreed that managers and staff representatives will be trained in the concept of discipline at work and the processes within this document. 1.3 Disciplinary rules are needed to set a reasonable standard of conduct which, if observed, will ensure the wellbeing of all individuals at work and this is reinforced by the ACAS Code of Practice. 1.4 The policy is based on the following principles: The attainment and maintenance of the required standards of conduct by all employees The right of the employee to be treated fairly and consistently in accordance with the principles of natural justice; the right of representation and the right to seek redress The right of management to exercise the authority delegated to it to manage, organise and supervise the work of those for whom they are responsible and to take any disciplinary action, including dismissal, which is necessary and authorised Where an employee has carried out the instructions of a supervisor in good faith, no disciplinary action will result to this employee.
2 2. PURPOSE AND SCOPE The aim of a standard disciplinary procedure for all employees is to ensure uniformity of treatment between one individual and another; between one group of employees and another; to ensure justice for individual employees; to provide protection to the efficiency and smooth running of the organisation and to ensure that staff organisations and employees are aware of their rights and obligations in respect of disciplinary and appeals machinery. It should be borne in mind, however, that there may be circumstances, such as a previous, related live warning which could justify differential treatment. 3. APPLICATION 3.1 This procedure applies to all staff under a contract of employment with a Local Health Board in Wales. 3.2 Nothing in this procedure shall supersede any more favourable arrangements constituted under statutory enactment. 4. PRINCIPLES The principles on which these procedures are based are: 4.1 The need for any issue to be treated in the strictest confidence. 4.2 To correct misconduct rather than to be punitive. 4.3 To ensure that at all stages employees are provided with full written details of any and all allegations against them. 4.4 The need for a thorough investigation prior to any disciplinary hearing and disciplinary action. 4.5 To ensure that employees receive a copy of the Investigating Officer s report in its entirety including copies of all statements taken and any other evidence to be considered at the disciplinary hearing. 4.6 The right of representation and/or accompaniment at all stages. (See Appendix 1). 4.7 The requirements of natural justice including the right to a fair and equitable hearing at which employees and their representatives can state their case. 4.8 The need to ensure employees are given a full written explanation of the decision reached and any penalty imposed so that employees can be clear as to expectations of future conduct if further action is to be avoided. 4.9 To ensure that, except in cases of gross misconduct, no employee is dismissed for a first breach of discipline.
3 4.10 The right of appeal No disciplinary action should be taken against an employee who is an accredited representative of a recognised trade union until the circumstances of the case have been discussed with a full time official of the trade union. 5. PROCEDURE With the exception of acts of gross misconduct, most cases of unsatisfactory conduct, including unsatisfactory attendance and poor performance, are best dealt with by counselling rather than through the formal disciplinary procedure. Problems will be discussed with the objective of encouraging and helping the employee to improve. 6. COUNSELLING 6.1 It is important that, wherever possible, problems relating to unsatisfactory conduct are dealt with as close to the source of the problem as possible. This will ensure the avoidance of unnecessary use of disciplinary action. Provisions for undertaking counselling are contained in Appendix In situations where work performance falls below the required standard it would be for the supervisor to counsel the employee. Such a counselling interview would not be considered part of the disciplinary procedure. There is a separate procedure that deals with matters of performance/capability. 7. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES It is important that the roles and responsibilities of those conducting or participating in any of the activities in accordance with this policy are clearly understood. These are set out in Appendix ENFORCED LEAVE OF ABSENCE Situations arise from time to time when it becomes necessary to temporarily remove a worker. The provisions relating to this are outlined in Appendix INVESTIGATION It is vital that all situations are investigated before any disciplinary action is considered or taken. The purpose of the investigation is to establish whether or not there is a case to answer in a disciplinary hearing. Consequently, the investigation must always be thorough and be carried out with no delay. It is also important that a consistent approach is used when investigating an incident. The appropriate information on this is contained in Appendix 5.
4 10. DISCIPLINARY HEARING When consideration is given to taking disciplinary action, a formal hearing must always take place before any decision is arrived at or any disciplinary action taken. Details of the preliminaries to the hearing and how it should be conducted are at Appendix DISCIPLINARY WARNINGS Depending on the seriousness of the offence, a series of warnings exist which may be administered in appropriate cases. The policy provides for three levels of formal warnings: Oral warnings Written warnings Final written warnings Information on the application of these warnings is given in Appendix DISMISSAL The procedure to be followed for dealing with dismissals is the same as that for disciplinary warnings short of dismissal. Dismissal is the most severe sanction and must be considered and, where necessary, carried out, in strict accordance with the provisions of the policy. The special factors relating to dismissal, including alternatives to termination of employment, are detailed in Appendix CRIMINAL AND POTENTIALLY CRIMINAL OFFENCES Sometimes incidents arise which are potentially a breach of criminal law as well as being a breach of the contract of employment. Whilst this does not necessarily prevent disciplinary action being undertaken, special consideration needs to be given to certain matters. These are described in Appendix DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST ACCREDITED REPRESENTATIVES Disciplinary action against an accredited representative can lead to a serious dispute if it is seen as an attack on the union s function. Although normal disciplinary standards should apply to their conduct as workers, if disciplinary action is contemplated then the case should be discussed with a full time official.
5 15. APPEALS PROCEDURE Every member of staff has the right of appeal against disciplinary action or dismissal. The means of exercising this right and the procedure to be followed are given in a detailed description in Appendix DESIGNATED DISCIPLINARY RESPONSIBILITIES Every member of staff has the right to know the identity of the officer who carries responsibility for dismissing them should it become necessary. The arrangements for this and an outline of these responsibilities are contained in Appendix DISCIPLINARY RULES Reasonable standards of behaviour and conduct are expected of all employees. These are described in a set of rules entitled Disciplinary Rules. Any breach of these rules may lead to disciplinary action. A copy of the rules is attached at Appendix 12.
6 APPENDIX 1 THE RIGHT TO REPRESENTATION/ACCOMPANIMENT 1. Where an employee has been requested to attend a Disciplinary hearing they are entitled to be represented or accompanied by a Trade Union Representative, friend or colleague. 2. It is the employee s duty to arrange for the representative, friend or colleague to attend with them and to assess the suitability of their chosen companion. 3. The Local Health Board will, where the representative/friend/colleague is a Local Health Board employee, permit that person a reasonable amount of time off work before and after the meeting to discuss the meeting with the employee concerned. Where the employee and/or the representative/friend/colleague is unable to attend at the time nominated by the Local Health Board, the employee may nominate a new hearing date and time provided that it Is: Reasonable, and Within 5 working days of the day after the date proposed by the Local Health Board, except where varied by mutual agreement.
7 APPENDIX 2 COUNSELLING 1. The manager should decide whether the matter warrants disciplinary action or is of a nature not justifying any stage of formal disciplinary warning. If the latter is the case, the appropriate counselling should be carried out. 2. In such circumstances the manager should discuss the matter with the employee on an informal basis with no other party or representative present. Counselling does not constitute disciplinary action or a stage in the formal disciplinary procedure; this should be made clear to the employee at the beginning of the discussion. The purpose is to explain the reasons for management dissatisfaction, to discuss thoroughly the problems and reasons, to obtain the employee s views on these and to indicate clearly the improvements required. The discussion is treated in the strictest confidence with only a diary entry that it took place. 3. This informal discussion will not be used as a substitute for an investigation as laid down in Page 3, Section If at some point during the interview the manager considers that counselling is not an appropriate way to proceed and that a formal investigation is needed which may lead to a disciplinary hearing, the counselling session will terminate forthwith with the employee being advised that the matter should be dealt with under the formal disciplinary procedure.
8 APPENDIX 3 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 1. The designated disciplining officer shall be identified in accordance with the procedure where it is established there is a case to answer (see Page 5, Section 16). This officer shall not normally have had any involvement in the case unless there is no alternative. Only in exceptional circumstances where there is no practical alternative should an officer with prior involvement in the case be responsible for taking and implementing any disciplinary decision. 2. An investigating officer will be appointed to undertake an investigation in accordance with the terms of this procedure. 3. The investigating officer shall not also be the disciplining officer nor have had any prior involvement with the case. 4. A Human Resources Advisor shall participate in every disciplinary hearing as indicated in the procedure.
9 APPENDIX 4 ENFORCED LEAVE OF ABSENCE 1. Prior to or during an investigation, it may become necessary to temporarily remove an employee from work. In such circumstances, the employee will receive normal pay entitlement, i.e. the payment that would be receivable had the period been worked. Enforced removal is not disciplinary action and the employee concerned should be clearly informed of this at the time of temporary removal. 2. The main circumstances in which enforced leave of absence should be considered are where continuing attendance could: 2.1 compound the offence 2.2 frustrate or interfere with any investigations 2.3 jeopardise the employee s safety or wellbeing, or 2.4 be perceived as not being in the interests of, or for the protection of employees and/or others. 3. Investigations will be dealt with as quickly and as thoroughly as possible so that the period of enforced absence can be as short as possible. 4. Except in cases involving police enquiries, where legal proceedings are pending or where a formal Committee of Enquiry has been or is being established, an employee on enforced leave of absence against whom no disciplinary charges have been made shall be informed in writing of their right of appeal against enforced absence that is greater than 21 days. 5. The reasons for enforced leave of absence should be confirmed in writing no later than the following working day.
10 APPENDIX 5 INVESTIGATION When a situation arises which could result in disciplinary action being considered, the following procedure must be followed: 1. An investigation must be carried out. The employee(s) concerned must be informed in writing that an investigation is to be carried out and must be provided with details of the allegations against them. 2. The investigation should be started immediately and completed as soon as is reasonably practicable. The purpose of the investigation is to establish whether or not there is a case to answer. 3. The objective of the investigation is to obtain all relevant information. This will include interviewing all relevant witnesses, taking statements, obtaining documentary evidence and contacting outside agencies, bodies, or individuals as appropriate. 4. It is expected that the employee concerned will need to be interviewed during the investigation; in such circumstances they shall be informed of their right to be accompanied and supported by a representative of a trade union, professional organisation, or a friend. 5. An officer other than the one who carries responsibility for disciplining the employee concerned must undertake the investigation. 6. The outcome of the investigation will take the form of a written report indicating that there is no case to answer; that the matter is best dealt with by counselling; or that the matter should proceed to a disciplinary hearing. The investigating officer s report in its entirety, including copies of all statements taken and any evidence to be considered at the disciplinary hearing should be copied to the employee. 7. The designated disciplining officer must be satisfied that a thorough investigation has been undertaken. If satisfied that there is a case to answer and that it cannot be dealt with by counselling, the matter should be referred for formal disciplinary hearing. 8. Where it is decided there is no case to answer, the employee must be informed accordingly in writing and all reference to the allegations and investigation be expunged from all files.
11 APPENDIX 6 DISCIPLINARY HEARING 1. Where, following the investigation, it is established there is a case to answer, the employee should be: informed in writing of the allegations against them informed of the right of representation be given adequate notice of the time and date of the hearing. 2. Wherever possible the date for the hearing should be by mutual agreement between the employer, the employee, and the employee s representative. The notice period must not be subject to unreasonable delay, but must allow reasonable time for preparation of the case. The worker must also be informed of the right of representation and/or accompaniment. All relevant documentary evidence including statements from witnesses, records and reports should be sent to the employee at the time of being notified of the hearing. Where witnesses are required to attend, by either side, arrangements will be made by the Human Resources Advisor to ensure, where they are employees, their availability at the hearing. In relation to non-employee witnesses, arrangements will be made by those calling them. 3. There is a duty upon every employee to co-operate with management when required, by giving written evidence and/or appearing as a witness. 4. A Human Resources Advisor will be in attendance at all stages of the proceedings. In the event that a Human Resources Advisor becomes the subject of disciplinary action, an appropriate acceptable alternative will be appointed. 5. The disciplinary hearing itself should normally take the following pattern, requiring the designated disciplinary officer to: 5.1 Introduce those present 5.2 Explain the purpose of the hearing by indicating that it is a disciplinary hearing convened in accordance with the Disciplinary Policy to address the allegations. 5.3 Outline the nature of the hearing, that is, that the allegation(s) is/are viewed most seriously and may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal, where appropriate.
12 5.4 Refer to the principles which govern the hearing: that full and fair consideration will be given to all issues pertinent to the case that all relevant evidence will be considered, and that the employee or their representative will have the opportunity to deny, answer, or defend themselves against the allegation(s). 5.5 Describe the procedure to be followed at the hearing and ensure this is understood by the employee: The investigating officer shall state management s case in the presence of the employee and their representative The employee or their representative shall have the right to ask questions of the investigating officer The disciplining officer shall have the right to ask questions of the investigating officer The investigating officer shall have the right to call each of their witnesses in turn The employee or their representative shall have the right to question each witness in turn The investigating officer may then re-examine the witness to clarify any issues that have been raised The disciplining officer shall have the right to question each witness in turn Witnesses shall only be present when giving evidence The employee or their representative shall state their case in the presence of the investigating officer The investigating officer shall have the right to ask questions of the employee or their representative The employee or their representative shall have the right to call each of their witnesses in turn The investigating officer shall have the right to question each witness in turn.
13 The employee or their representative may then reexamine the witness to clarify any issues that have been raised The disciplining officer shall have the right to question each witness in turn The investigating officer, the employee or their representative shall have the opportunity to sum up their case if they so wish. The employee or their representative shall have the right to speak last. In their summing up neither party may introduce any new matter Where additional information pertinent to the allegations has been identified as necessary during the hearing, an adjournment may be called at that stage so that the parties may consider this information. It may be necessary for further investigations to be carried out as a result of this additional information All those other than the disciplining officer shall withdraw to allow the disciplining officer to make his/her decision based on the evidence before them All parties shall return for the disciplining officer to announce his/her decision Where the disciplining officer has determined that the person committed the offence and the facts have been proved, the disciplining officer, assisted by the Human Resources Advisor, will be advised of any live warnings related to (a) similar offence(s) and receive any presentations of mitigating circumstances. These will be taken into account when assessing the penalty to be imposed At the end of the presentations all parties other than the disciplining officer and the Human Resources Advisor shall withdraw in order that the penalty be determined. The presence of the Human Resources Advisor is to ensure consistency in how disciplinary penalties are dealt with The penalty should be announced without delay. Exceptionally, this may be held over until the following morning.
14 A clear written statement will be provided within 2 working days detailing: the allegations considered, the decision in respect of each, the penalty imposed, the reasons why a clear statement of what is expected of the employee in future, except in cases of dismissal and A notice of the right of appeal against the decision and the mechanism for appeal.
15 APPENDIX 7 DISCIPLINARY WARNINGS 1. It is necessary to distinguish between different levels of seriousness of conduct. The level of warning will reflect the seriousness of an offence, together with the employee s current disciplinary record. All warnings whether oral or written should be confirmed in writing. Any level of warning may be given for a first offence. It will not be automatic that a first offence will result in an oral warning. A first offence, if sufficiently serious, may result in a written or final warning. An employee may be issued with more than one oral, written or final written warning. ORAL WARNING 2. This will be applicable in cases of minor misconduct. An Oral Warning issued to an employee will be simultaneously recorded on their personnel file. It will remain live for three months, or in exceptional circumstances e.g. where training is necessary and not readily available, up to six months. The duration will be made clear at the date of issue. WRITTEN WARNING 3. This will be applicable in cases of serious misconduct or minor misconduct where (an) oral warning(s) remain live for an offence of the same nature. A Written Warning issued to an employee will be simultaneously recorded on the personnel file. It will remain live for one year. 4. After six months, a compulsory review involving the employee and their representative, where requested, will take place. If the review is satisfactory, the written warning will be expunged from the file. If the review is unsatisfactory, the written warning will stand for the remainder of the year. 5. It will be the responsibility of the disciplining officer (or, where applicable, their successor) who made the original disciplinary decision, to carry out the review. FINAL WRITTEN WARNING 6. This will be applicable in cases of very serious misconduct or serious misconduct or minor misconduct where a written warning (and, where appropriate, oral warning) remains live for an offence, or offences of the same nature. A Final Written Warning issued to an employee will be simultaneously recorded on the personnel file for two years.
16 EXPIRY OF WARNINGS 7. Expired warnings will be removed from the personnel file and returned to the employee with written confirmation of removal. No copy of any documentation in relation to expired warnings will be retained.
17 APPENDIX 8 DISMISSAL 1. The officers delegated with the responsibility for dismissal are as designated at Appendix 10 of this procedure. 2. The procedure to be followed in cases of dismissal will be the same as that outlined in Page 3, Sections 9 and 10 of the procedure. However, except in cases of gross misconduct, no employee should be dismissed for a first offence. Failure to comply with the terms of a Final Written Warning or gross misconduct, which represents a fundamental breach of contract, shall be grounds for termination of employment. 3. Any dismissal, whether summary or with notice, will be confirmed in writing within seven days of the decision and must detail the date of dismissal, the grounds for the decision and the right of appeal. Dismissal will be summary, i.e. without notice or payment in lieu of notice, in all cases of gross misconduct. In all other cases of dismissal, statutory notice should be given or appropriate payment in lieu made. 4. As an alternative to dismissal, consideration may be given by the Dismissing Officer to offer demotion or transfer to the employee together with a final written warning. Where the employee appeals the decision of the Dismissing Officer the employee will be placed on enforced leave of absence and any offer of demotion or transfer held in abeyance until the outcome of the appeal is known. Where the appeal is disallowed the employee should be given 7 working days to consider the offer. Failure to accept such an offer, where made, will result in termination of employment.
18 APPENDIX 9 CRIMINAL AND POTENTIALLY CRIMINAL OFFENCES 1. Certain alleged offences may constitute criminal acts and may lead to police involvement. In such circumstances, a manager shall not be precluded from undertaking disciplinary action in accordance with Pages 3 and 4, Sections 10, 11, 12 of the procedure. 2. In all cases the disciplining officer must consider the facts and whether the conduct is sufficiently serious to warrant instituting the Disciplinary Procedure. For instance, employees should not be disciplined solely because a charge against them is pending or because they are absent as a result of being remanded in custody. 3. Criminal charges and convictions outside employment should not be treated as automatic reasons for disciplinary action. Where dismissal is being considered, the main consideration will be whether the offence is one that makes the employee unsuitable for their type of work.
19 APPENDIX 10 APPEALS AGAINST WARNINGS OR DISMISSAL 1. The opportunity to appeal against a disciplinary decision is essential to natural justice. Employees may choose to raise appeals on a number of grounds, which could include the perceived unfairness of the judgement, the severity of the penalty, new evidence coming to light or procedural irregularities. These grounds need to be considered when deciding the extent of any new investigation or re-hearing in order to remedy defects in the disciplinary process. 2. Non Executive Members of the Local Health Board will form a Panel of three members from amongst their number to hear appeals. If possible, at least one Member of the Panel should have a special knowledge of the field of work of the employee. Where this is not possible, in cases of an appeal against dismissal, the Panel shall, at the request of the employee or their representative, appoint an assessor who is experienced in the particular discipline of the employee and who has not been directly involved in the circumstances leading to disciplinary action. The assessor may advise the Panel only in matters arising during the course of the hearing that they feel may be related to the professional conduct or professional competence of the employee. 3. The employee should have the right to appear personally before the Appeal Panel either alone or accompanied by a representative of a trade union or a friend. An appellant may elect to be legally represented but if so shall be responsible for such costs as they may incur and in these circumstances management may also elect to be legally represented. 4. Members of the Appeal Panel shall not include any person of the Local Health Board who has been directly involved in the circumstances leading to disciplinary action. No Officer of the Local Health Board who has been directly involved in the circumstances that led up to the need for disciplinary action at an earlier stage of the disciplinary procedure shall be present at the appeal in any capacity except as a witness or as a representative of management. 6. An appeal by the employee should be lodged with the Chief Executive within 21 calendar days of the receipt of the written notice, stating the reasons for the appeal. The hearing of the appeal by the Appeal Panel should take place within four weeks of receipt of the appeal by the Chief Executive, on a date to be set by the Panel. Any suggested deviation should be mutually agreed. 7. The employee shall be given at least 14 calendar days notice of the date of the hearing.
20 8. At the hearing of an appeal before the Appeal Panel the following procedure shall be observed: 8.1 Introduce those present. 8.2 The Disciplining Officer shall state management s case in the presence of the employee and their representative. 8.3 The employee or their representative shall have the right to ask questions of the Disciplining Officer. 8.4 The members of the Appeal Committee shall have the right to ask questions of the Disciplining Officer. 8.5 The Disciplining Officer shall have the right to call each of their witnesses in turn. 8.6 The employee or their representative shall have the right to question each witness in turn. 8.7 The Disciplining Officer may then re-examine the witness to clarify any issues that have been raised. 8.8 The members of the Appeal Panel shall have the right to question each witness in turn. 8.9 Witnesses shall only be present when giving evidence The employee or their representative shall have the right to state their case The Disciplining Officer shall have the right to ask questions of the employee or their representative The employee or their representative shall have the right to call each of their witnesses in turn The Disciplining Officer shall have the right to question each witness in turn The employee or their representative may then re-examine the witness to clarify any issues that have been raised The Members of the Appeals Panel shall have the right to question each witness in turn The Disciplining Officer, the employee or their representative shall have the opportunity to sum up their case if they so wish. The employee or their representative shall have the right to speak last. In their summing up neither party may introduce any new matter.
21 8.17 Where additional information pertinent to the allegations has been identified as necessary during the hearing, an adjournment may be called at that stage so that the parties may consider the additional information All those other than the Appeals Panel shall withdraw The Panel with the Officer appointed as secretary to the Panel and where appropriate the assessor, shall deliberate in private recalling both parties only to clear points of uncertainty on evidence already given. If recall is necessary, both parties shall return notwithstanding only one is concerned with the point requiring clarification All parties shall return for the Appeals Panel to announce their decision In appeals against disciplinary action the Appeals Panel shall have no power to increase the disciplinary action The decision should be announced without delay. Exceptionally, this may be held over until the following morning. The decision will be confirmed in writing within two working days Where an appeal against dismissal is successful the employee will be regarded as having incurred no break in service or pay.
22 APPENDIX 11 DELEGATED POWERS FOR WARNING/ ENFORCED LEAVE OF ABSENCE AND DISMISSAL STAFF INVOLVED ENFORCED LEAVE OF ABSENCE DISCIPLINARY ACTION SHORT OF DISMISSAL DISMISSAL Chief Executive Chairperson of the Board Chairperson of the Board Chairperson of the Board Director Chief Executive Chief Executive Chief Executive All Other Staff Executive Director Executive Director Executive Director Notes: 1) A Human Resources Advisor shall be in attendance at all stages of the proceedings. 2) In the event that the Human Resources Advisor becomes the subject of disciplinary action, an appropriate acceptable alternative will be appointed.
23 APPENDIX 12 PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT DISCIPLINARY RULES INTRODUCTION The appended list of offences although not intended to be exhaustive, provides a range of examples of breaches of discipline that may render an employee liable to disciplinary action. There are many others offences which could constitute misconduct or gross misconduct. OBJECTIVES The purpose of these disciplinary rules is to: advise employees of the kinds of act and behaviour which constitute a breach of discipline; define broadly those offences of a serious nature which might result in the employee being summarily dismissed; ensure that fair and consistent procedure is applied to all employees when allegations of misconduct are investigated and also that fair and consistent action is taken against offenders should this become necessary. A. OFFENCES WARRANTING DISCIPLINARY ACTION SHORT OF DISMISSAL 1.. Persistently failing to be in attendance at the place of work at the required time. 2. Leaving the place of work without permission or acceptable reason. 3. Failing to conform to agreed working practices and procedures laid down by the Local Health Board. 4. Failing to comply with the Equality Policy, and/or behaviour or actions against the spirit and/or the letter of the laws on which the Equality Policy is based. 5. Failing to observe any Health and Safety Rules and Regulations notified to staff.
24 6. Refusing to carry out a reasonable instruction by a senior officer or a person designated to act in the senior officer s absence. 7. Failing to take reasonable care of and/or negligent use of Local Health Board property. 8. Acting, either by language or conduct, in an offensive, threatening or abusive manner. 9. Communicating any confidential information without authority to any person not entitled to receive it. 10. Communicating by /fax or via the internet, any defamatory, sexist or racist message or other offensive material. 11. Smoking at any time on the Local Health Board s premises. B. OFFENCES WHICH MAY WARRANT DISMISSAL 1. The theft of, unauthorised possession of, or wilful damage to the Local Health Board s property, contractors property or equipment, or any worker s or others property, on the Local Health Board s premises or while on Local Health Board business. 2. The fraudulent obtaining of money, goods or services from the Local Health Board or others while acting as The Local Health Board s agent. 3. Deliberate falsification of records, refusal to obey reasonable instructions and serious neglect of duty/negligence. 4. Fighting, assault or physical provocation or threat. 5. Being unfit for duty whilst at work or on Local Health Board premises due to the consumption of any alcoholic beverage, or illegally obtained drugs. 6. The conviction for a criminal offence which renders the employee unsuitable, or unable, to carry out the duties for which he or she was employed, or otherwise makes the employee s continued employment unacceptable. 7. Acts of professional misconduct which may or may not result in removal from a Professional Register where membership is a condition of employment.
25 8. The persistent and wilful refusal to carry out a reasonable instruction despite warnings of the consequences of continued refusal. 9. Grossly offensive behaviour towards members and employees of the Local Health Board, members of the public, employees or organisations having working relations with the Local Health Board, whilst at work or on Local Health Board premises. 10. The commission of a major breach of confidence which results in serious damage to the interests of an individual, the Local Health Board or other organisations. 11. Persistent and wilful refusal to comply with the Equality Policy and/or the spirit and/or the letter of the law on which the Equality Policy is based. 12. Persistently communicating by /fax or via the internet, any defamatory, sexist or racist message or other offensive material. 13. Persistently, deliberately accessing and/or downloading inappropriate information e.g. pornographic sites.