An employer contemplating dismissing an employee for misconduct must ensure that this possible sanction is clear from the statement setting out the disciplinary charge. Ideally the statement should expressly refer to the possibility of dismissal, although it could be enough to describe the charge as one of gross misconduct, eg, if the statement is accompanied by a copy of disciplinary rules specifying that dismissal is a possible sanction for gross misconduct.

While the statutory dismissal procedure applies (it is being repealed in April 2009 subject to transitional provisions), failure to do so makes the dismissal automatically unfair and compensation could be increased by up to 50%. (Zimmer Ltd v Brezan, EAT)