If one of your greenkeepers decided to shoot an apprentice with an air rifle, you’d assume it’d be okay to give them their marching orders, right?
Not so fast…
One of our clients decided to sign up with us having lost a big tribunal case based on exactly this transgression.
At first glance, it was difficult to see why they’d lost, but when we delved a little deeper, it all became clear.
The greenkeeper in question was out in the woods, with two colleagues and an apprentice, when they stumbled upon an air rifle.
Instead of leaving it where it was and calling the police, they decided to pick it up and use the age old, failsafe method to work out if it was loaded.
Yes, that’s right, by pulling the trigger.
While aiming at the apprentice’s buttocks.
The apprentice went off sick and never came back to work, while the general manage sacked all three staff members on the spot.
Case closed, right?
Well, not quite.
One of the greenkeepers took the Club to tribunal, on the grounds that the manager hadn’t gone through the gross misconduct disciplinary process.
And as galling as it sounds, he had a point:
- The greenkeepers should have been instantly suspended on full pay
- An investigation hearing with all those involved should have taken place
- After giving them three working days’ written notice, disciplinary hearings should have taken place.
- The greenkeepers could have been dismissed after the meeting (not in the meeting), and the Club would not have had to pay any notice.
- They would have to have the right of appeal.
- If they appealed within 5 working days, they would have had an appeal meeting
- After the appeal, the Club could have decided to have continued with the dismissal or reinstated them.
Instead, the manager just fired them, with no chance of hearing or appeal, opening up the door to a tribunal claim, which one greenkeeper decided to go through with.
And he won. A cautionary tale for all of us to follow the process! It could save you thousands of pounds….