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Dismissing an employee for gross misconduct

Dismissing an employee for gross misconduct

When dealing with employee misconduct, employers may have a good reason to dismiss an employee, but if they don’t follow the correct procedure their worst nightmare may come true – they may be forced to defend Employment Tribunal claims.

Now that employees do not have to pay a fee to access an Employment Tribunal, they may feel that they have nothing to lose and lots to gain. With this in mind, Laura Chalkley, Senior Employment Law Adviser and Partnership Team Manager, looks into the issue of gross misconduct and answers commonly asked questions.

What is gross misconduct?

Gross misconduct is an act which is so serious that it justifies dismissal without notice, or pay in lieu of notice, for a first offence.

What could amount to gross misconduct?

Examples of acts of gross misconduct include theft, fraud, refusal to carry out reasonable instructions, violent or intimidating behaviour, wilful damage to property or breach of health and safety rules.

In your Employee Handbook, you should set out examples of acts which will be considered gross misconduct and include any conduct specific to your sector.

Does this mean you can just dismiss an employee on the spot?

Even in cases of gross misconduct, you still need to follow a fair procedure. If you do dismiss the employee instantly, it is likely that you will face a claim of unfair dismissal.

What constitutes a fair procedure?

When dealing with gross misconduct, you need to follow your disciplinary procedure.  This should be included in your Employee Handbook.

A fair disciplinary procedure involves investigating the matter, informing the employee of the issue, holding a disciplinary hearing, allowing them to be accompanied, letting them respond to the allegations and giving them the chance to appeal.

In cases of suspected gross misconduct, it may be necessary to suspend the employee from work on full pay while the investigation is taking place, for example, in order to carry out an unhindered investigation. If you do suspend the employee, it should be made clear to the employee that this is not a disciplinary sanction and the suspension should be as short as possible and be kept under review.

If you do suspend when it is not reasonable to do so or for longer than necessary, it could be considered a breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence and lead to the risk of constructive dismissal.

Contact Ellis Whittam, who are NIVO’s preferred partner, on 0845 226 8393, to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, contact Ben Delaney on for more information.

Why use a Fuel Card?


  Burts Chips unveil the authentic taste of Bourbon with new Jim Beam Original BBQ crisps

Burts Chips is launching another flavour in its series of hugely successful partnerships with iconic drinks brands – this time with Jim Beam, the world’s No.1 Bourbon.

The crisps come in 40g single-serve bags (RRP 79p-99p) and 120g sharing bags (RRP £1.79 – £1.99), launching into the retail and hospitality trade this summer via and selected wholesalers. The new flavour crisps will also feature in Aldi as limited edition for a two-month period starting in early June.

Jim Beam Original BBQ flavour crisps is the result of the Burts Chips and Jim Beam teams working in partnership to perfect the combination of the authentic flavour of Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon with sweet, smoky BBQ flavours. Like all Burts’ snacks, the new crisps are hand cooked in small batches, seasoned with natural flavours, are gluten-free and contain no MSG, hydrogenated fat, artificial flavourings or colourings.

Burts Chips’ sales and marketing director Simon Knight said: “Jim Beam Original BBQ crisps once more underlines the fact that Burts Chips is the UK leader in flavour innovation and taste combinations. Our unique USP is one of the key factors in the Burts Chips brand growing by 2% year-on-year to be worth £8m – making us one of the fastest growing bagged snacks brands in the UK.

“Retailers should also note that BBQ is a universally appealing flavour and always ranks highly in consumer flavour polls. This unique spin on a traditional favourite offers retailers, pubs, bars and cafes the perfect opportunity to differentiate their bagged snacks offer as we approach the busy out-of-home selling season.”

A Jim Beam spokesperson added: “Jim Beam and Burts share a strong synergy and we are excited about our new collaboration, welcoming Burts into the Jim Beam family. As we say at Jim Beam, ‘Come as a friend, leave as family’. With 67% of Jim Beam shoppers buying big bag crisps[1], there is a natural link between Jim Beam and shared snacking occasions, and we are confident that the launch will be well received amongst our audience and  meet demand for great tasting, adventurous snacks. Jim Beam Original BBQ joins the other best-selling licensed products in the Burts Chips portfolio. The range includes Guinness and Guinness Rich Chilli, Hobgoblin® Spit Roast Steak crisps – a partnership with the Wychwood Brewery and finally Burts Levi Roots Reggae Reggae Groove Cut Crisps.

The launch will be supported by sampling activity, as well as being part of a large-scale, integrated marketing campaign including PR, events and social media.

For more information about Burts Chips visit the website at, like on Facebook ( and follow on Instagram (@burtschips) and Twitter (@BurtsChips). For press enquiries, please contact

[1] Source: Dunnhumby 52 weeks to 18.02.2018

Citroen, Peugeot and DS Automobiles monthly round up!


There have been a lot of changes this month, the move to the stock only position of the Partner Tepee and Berlingo Multispace to prepare for the exciting new launch later this year of both the Peugeot Rifter and the new Citroen Berlingo leisure activity vehicles. Simultaneously there are some new changes to the Partner and Berlingo van ranges. Please click the links below to find out more about the upcoming changes.       Click here to book a test drive.       08002851705

Peugeot – Supply Bulletin 

Peugeot – Partner Rationalisation of Range and Price Increase

Peugeot – Partner Tepee – Stock Only       Click here to book a test drive.       08002851705

Citroen – Supply Bulletin

Citroen – C4 Cactus – Opening of City Pack Option

Citroen – Berlingo – Rationalisation of Range and Price Increase

Citroen – Berlingo Multispace End of Production       Click here to book a test drive.       08002851705

DS – supply bulletin

DS 7 Crossback – DS Product Update

DS 7 Crossback – launch of DS Collections

KitKat 4-finger Twin Pack!


Energy Beats Everything

NEW KitKat

New products from Sweet Moments Ltd

Sweet Moments have been making delicious handmade giant soft eating cookies and flapjack slices in North Yorkshire since 2007.

There are six varieties of cookies, in order of popularity, Toffee & Butterscotch, Double Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate, Spotty, Chocolate Spotty and Oat and Sultana. More recently a new flavour has been added to the line-up: The Handmade Tiffin Flavoured Cookie. This is a specially developed recipe representing a traditional
tiffin tray bake in the form of a cookie. A sweet, chocolatey, fruity cookie with a crunchy edge.

These excellent quality, great value cookies are all 35p each apart from the Tiffin priced at 40p, have four months shelf life, fit perfectly in your spirals and are packed in a handy case size of 12.

Since introducing this product range to a number of leading vending operators, sales have gone from strength to strength, many operators achieving in excess of 4000 cookies per month.

Two more exciting additions have also been added, this time to the flapjack range, both sold as an individually wrapped slice. The first is a Salted Caramel Flapjack, this is Handmade Flapjack with salted caramel and Butterscotch & Toffee pieces throughout. And finally a Handmade Chocolate flapjack, set to be a bestseller.

Excitingly the Chocolate flapjacks, the Double Chocolate cookie and the Toffee and Butterscotch cookie are now available to purchase through Automatic Retailing1

Tyrrells Special NIVO member offers

SUZOHAPP acquires the primary product lines of Coinco, a global leader in the design and manufacturing of payment solutions!


• Acquisition significantly expands SUZOHAPP product portfolio
• Brings a more complete, technology-driven solution to customers within the Vending industry
• Enhances commercial, engineering and operational capabilities

Mount Prospect, Illinois – SUZOHAPP announced today that it has completed the acquisition of the primary currency and cashless product lines of Coinco, a world leader in the design and manufacturing of payment solutions for the Vending industry, based in St. Louis, Missouri.

Founded in 1958, Coinco led the way in product development, providing the market with a wide range of value-added payment solutions, including its well recognized coin changers, bill acceptors, card readers and cashless technology. Some important new offerings will be added to the SUZOHAPP portfolio, such as the Vantage VR6 note recycler and the iris line of cashless systems.

As part of the acquisition, SUZOHAPP has also hired key commercial, engineering and operational employees from Coinco in order to provide excellent support to all new and existing customers.

One of these key commercial employees is Ron Manne, SUZOHAPP’s new Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the Coinco brand. “We are excited to become part of the SUZOHAPP group and we look forward to contributing to the company’s future growth and continued success,” said Manne.

Get Ready for Summer with Shmoo Milkshakes!


With the summer months just around the corner, cold beverages are set to be the order of the day as the weather begins to warm up. Milkshakes are hugely popular with both adults and children alike and are an essential addition to any outlet’s beverage offering. Shmoo, the leading thickshake concept in the UK, is the perfect choice for those wanting to provide refreshingly sweet, cool beverages with ease!


Blended with milk, Shmoo creates deliciously thick, ice cream textured milkshakes or even iced cappuccinos. Simply add a scoop of the Shmoo milkshake mix into a branded cup, pour milk to the line and mix using the unique Shmoo in-cup mixer. The mix will double in size and create the perfect thickshake consistently every time, providing a cost-effective and highly profitable


milkshake concept! Available in five of the most popular flavours: Chocolate, Strawberry, Banana, Vanilla and Cappuccino, Shmoo contains no artificial colours, sweeteners or preservatives, is low in fat and suitable for vegetarians* whilst also being a great source of calcium**! What’s more, you can make your Shmoo thickshakes even more luxurious with a whole range of toppings. From squirty cream, mini marshmallows to chocolate curls, adding a selection of sweet toppings will not only look fantastic, but also allow outlets to command a more premium price point.


Karen Green, Marketing Manager for Aimia Foods is delighted to offer Shmoo as a part of the Aimia product portfolio: “Shmoo has revolutionised the UK foodservice market with luxuriously delicious thickshakes that are quick and simple to make. It provides operators with a highly profitable concept that can easily be implemented within any outlet and allows establishment’s to tap into the hugely popu

lar milkshake market utilising a vibrant, well recognised and much loved brand. Not only do the shakes taste fantastic, but the point-of-sale materials that come free with the starter kits, such as the menu boards and counter stands, are sure to catch the eye of customers helping to increase the opportunity for first time or repeat purchases!”




Exclusive Discount Fuel Cards


Refuelling benefits for members

Members can enjoy savings of up to 5p per litre on diesel & petrol, and up to 10p per litre at motorway pumps, with a free no-obligation fuel card from leading independent fuel card agent The Fuelcard People.

The Fuelcard People offer a range of cards which include commercial rate fuel cards valid at over 7000 pumps nationwide, including BP, Shell, Esso, Texaco, Tesco, Morrisons, The Co-operative, Gulf, Pace, Emo, Murco and Moto forecourts, as well as the Diesel Direct (Keyfuels) and UK Fuels networks.


With a fuel card from The Fuelcard People, you enjoy fixed weekly pricing, which can be up to 5p per litre less than pump prices, and up to 10p per litre savings at motorway pumps. The gap between refuelling and direct debit payment means up to a fortnight’s interest-free credit, and your fuel purchase paperwork is replaced by a single weekly invoice, saving administration time.


The Fuelcard People will help you to choose the best fuel card for your particular needs, from the UK’s widest range, rather than pushing you towards a pre-decided product. Then, if you ever need to talk to them, you can call your dedicated account manager directly, rather than an anonymous call centre operator. Outside office hours, you can access your account details 24/7 via secure Internet.


All fuel cards provided by The Fuelcard People are protected by PIN security. If a card is lost or stolen, it is completely useless to anyone else, as it is tied to a specific driver or vehicle. It can only be used for refuelling, removing the possibility of unauthorised purchases, which can happen with credit cards.

Additional Services

Alongside the savings, service and security a fuel card can bring, The Fuelcard People offer a range of additional services to enhance your fleet management, including eServices, MileageCount and CO2Count.

Online account management system, eServices, allows you to take control of your account 24/7. Here, you can view detailed transaction information, order and cancel cards and view your card details.

For those wanting to monitor mileage, MileageCount calculates accurate, HMRC-compliant MPG reports for your fleet, including the split between business and private mileage costs, and also helps you meet your Duty of Care obligations.

Members can also benefit from CO2Count, which allows you to monitor and reduce your fleet’s CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions whilst supporting CO2Count’s environmental partner, Cool Earth.

Find out more about the range of benefits available:

  • Reduced card charges for all members
  • No advance payments, non-usage fees, contracts or obligations – only pay for the fuel you use.
  • Fixed weekly prices, meaning savings of up to 5p per litre off the national average pump price and up to 10p per litre at motorway pumps.
  • Over 7000 refuelling locations nationwide.
  • Motorway and supermarket refuelling available
  • Additional fleet services products available, including free online account management, mileage capture and emissions monitoring services.

For more information, visit our comparison site


†Savings may depend on credit rating, usage and other market factors. Administration costs can be reduced by using such tools as e-Services and e-Billing. Savings are not guaranteed.


When annual leave and sickness coincide…



There may be times when annual leave and sickness collide, which brings up a whole host of new issues for businesses to deal with.

What happens if an employee falls sick when on holiday?

Cases by the European Court of Justice have held that if an employee becomes sick before or during a pre-arranged holiday, they are entitled to postpone their annual leave to another date. This may mean that they need to carry it over to the next holiday year. This applies to the first four weeks laid down in European law, not the additional 1.6 weeks prescribed by the UK Working Time Regulations.

If an employee does fall sick while on annual leave, you can:

  • Ask them to report sickness absence in line with your reporting requirements.
  • Carry out a return to work interview to ascertain the nature of the illness and whether they are fully recovered or it is part of an ongoing condition. This will help you determine next steps.
  • Ask for medical evidence either from a GP or an Occupational Health Report.

If you have reason to believe someone’s sickness is not genuine, for example someone has brought to your attention that they have posted lots of photos on Facebook of them having a lovely holiday, you may need to investigate the allegations of misconduct.

If you suspect an employee is malingering, you should not use social media sites to stalk employees and dig as much ‘dirt’ up as possible. You should only seek targeted and relevant information.

Only once you have carried out this investigation and have credible evidence can you proceed to a disciplinary hearing.

What can I do if an employee requests to take holiday during a period of sickness absence?

In most cases, the employee will make this type of request because they no longer qualify for Statutory Sick Pay.

The employee does have the right to nominate when they take their leave, even if on sick leave, subject to notice requirements. The employer is within their rights to issue a counter notice and refuse. However if you refuse and the employee is unlikely to return from sickness absence in that annual leave year, you could be acting in violation of the Working Time Regulations.


To explore this further, contact Ellis Whittam, who are NIVO’s preferred partner, on 0845 226 8393. Alternatively, contact Ben Delaney on for more information.

AG Barr is recalling 750ml glass bottles.


AG Barr has taken the decision to recall 750ml glass bottles on a precautionary basis because there have been a small number of reports that the bottle caps pop off unexpectedly.

Product details
Best before: Up to and including May 2019
IRN-BRU sugar free
Best before: Up to and including May 2019
Barr Soda Water
Best before: Up to and including May 2019
Best before: Up to and including May 2019
Barr Cola
Best before: Up to and including May 2019
Barr Cream Soda
Best before: Up to and including May 2019
Barr Ginger Beer
Best before: Up to and including May 2019
Barr Lemonade
Best before: Up to and including May 2019
Barr Limeade
Best before: Up to and including May 2019
Barr Pineapple
Best before: Up to and including May 2019
Barr Red Kola
Best before: Up to and including May 2019

No other AG Barr products are known to be affected.

Risk statement

There is a risk that the bottle caps may pop off unexpectedly which may cause injury.

Action taken by the company

AG Barr is recalling the above products. Point of sale notices will be displayed in all retail stores that are selling these products. These notices explain to customers why the products are being recalled and tell them what to do if they have bought the product. Click here to see the attached notice.

Our advice to consumers

If you have bought any of the above products carefully release the pressure from the bottle by pointing away from the body at arm’s length as you would when opening a bottle of sparkling wine and then return to store or contact AG Barr.

About product recalls and withdrawals

If there is a problem with a food product that means it should not be sold, then it might be ‘withdrawn’ (taken off the shelves) or ‘recalled’ (when customers are asked to return the product). The FSA issues Product Withdrawal Information Notices and Product Recall Information Notices to let consumers and local authorities know about problems associated with food. In some cases, a ‘Food Alert for Action’ is issued. This provides local authorities with details of specific action to be taken on behalf of consumers.




Food industry insight – Good Food? Bad Food? 

by David Elliot

Conventional wisdom tells us that controlling your weight is simply a matter of balancing the calories you put in your body, in the form of food and drink, with the calories you expend as energy. The ‘Eat Less, Do More’ mantra: is simple, it makes sense, it’s obvious and everybody understands it. It can’t be wrong… But what if it is?

What if, only certain kinds of calories lead to weight gain? What if it’s only by eating more of ‘those’ calories fat storage is triggered? What if some calories actually help with weight control, and that it’s by not eating sufficient of those, that you are instructing your body to store fat? What if eating fewer calories than your body needs; in effect starving yourself, simply re-programs the body to focus on storing fat as a major priority, effectively causing weight gain. The problem with ‘Eat Less, Do More’ is that it assumes, all calories are the same and that all calories do the same job inside the body. And that is a million miles from the truth. For that reason alone, juggling calories in and out, can never bring about sustained weight control. Sure, it is a fact: if you cut your calorie intake dramatically, and, simultaneously increase your exercise rate, you will lose weight. And this strengthens the belief in the formula. However, that weight will not stay lost: whether it’s in six months, twelve months or two years, one thing is certain… body fat lost through calorie restriction ‘will’ return… and probably bring more back with it.

What is a calorie?
It’s a measurement of energy, conceived by Victorian engineers to help work out the size of a furnace required for individual steam engines. It works fine for steam engines, when the only requirement is to learn how much fuel is needed to produce the right amount of energy to move a train or get to a certain destination. To then apply this idea as a way to prevent weight gain in humans, (as was done one-hundred-and-twenty years ago) was at best daft…That we still believe in it after hundreds of trials have consistently shown that it simply doesn’t work, is frankly, astonishing. [Coal has about 7 calories per gram, enjoy a few lumps with a drizzle of olive oil, and I can promise, you won’t gain an ounce of body fat.] We are not steam engines. We are highly complex beings, evolved over millions of years. Just about everything that happens in our bodies, from our mood to our energy levels, from hunger or satiety, to the rate at which we store or lose fat, is controlled by hormones*. Not calories in vs calories out. To take control of those hormones we need to eat sufficient GOOD quality nutritious food, and eliminate the BAD ‘foods’ that interfere with proper hormone function. When that happens our bodies count their own calories, in, and out, with an accuracy you could never dream of achieving.


* Anyone in any doubt about how powerfully controlling those hormones are, ask a pregnant woman with hunger cravings. Then get her what she wants, or get away fast*



NIVO Upcoming Events!!!!!!


NIVO is pleased to announce that it has partnered with Ellis Whittam, the Employment Law, HR and Health & Safety experts – and has been able to secure a discount for all NIVO members.

Ellis Whittam is a leading supplier of fixed fee services to over 17,000 businesses around the UK and NIVO members are guaranteed up to 15% off.

Using Ellis Whittam as your provider of employment law or health and safety services is like having your own in-house lawyer or consultant; you can call on them as often as you like to get bespoke contracts, letters or employee handbooks prepared or your own on site risk assessments carried out.
The fixed fee model enables NIVO members to get in touch as often as you like throughout the year without worry about extra costs or high usage rates when dealing with major problems. Whether it’s for strategic advice, step-by-step guidance through a problem or just to give you the reassurance of a second expert opinion, your own named adviser is just a phone call or email away.

Ben Delaney, Partnerships Manager at Ellis Whittam, said, “Ensuring legal compliance in the way you manage your people and their wellbeing is not easy. Issues such as sickness and redundancy or dealing with hazards and risks in the workplace are problems for so many businesses, large and small.”

He added, “The nature of our fixed fee model means that you can have a chat with your own named lawyer as often as you like, ask us to respond to an employee’s harassment claim or resignation letter, or carry out your fire risk assessment without getting an unexpected bill at the end of it.”

NIVO members get exclusive rates on Ellis Whittam fixed fee Employment Law and Health & Safety services, in addition, Ellis Whittam can also act as your legally required ‘competent person’.

For further information on how Ellis Whittam could support your business please visit or call Ben Delaney, Partnerships Manager, on 01244 687625 or email

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