An employer can terminate an employee’s employment contract without notice when an employee engages in serious misconduct. Serious misconduct usually involves circumstances where an employee:
- Causes serious and imminent risk to the health and safety of another person or to the reputation or profits of their employer’s business; or
- Deliberately behaves in a way that is inconsistent with continuing their employment.
The most obvious examples of such conduct are:
C. Assault; and
D. Being drunk at work (to the extent the employee can’t be trusted to carry out their duties).
A less obvious example is when an employee refuses to carry out a lawful and reasonable instruction that is part of his/her job.
Always seek legal advice when terminating an employment contract.