POSTED: June 23 2017
Employees, colleagues and historic criminal offences

Employees, colleagues and historic criminal offences

Some advice for you if you knowingly employ someone who previously committed a criminal offence.  You may encounter the situation where other employees find out about this and refuse to work with the individual.  If this happens, what should you do? 

If you are unfortunate enough to encounter this situation, our advice would be to meet with each individual as soon as possible, listen to their concerns and take notes.  You should also meet with your employee with a criminal record – they may wish to explain the situation in person to their new colleagues.  They should all be made aware that they must try to work together regardless of personal opinions.  Please consider whether the protesters’ objections are reasonable.  If not, you may have to consider disciplinary action for bullying.

If the situation doesn’t improve, you could consider using a trained mediator to find a way forward or vary employees working hours or departments to avoid them having to work together.  If the working relationship has broken down irreversibly, the only final option is for you to dismiss the ex-offender for “Some Other Substantial Reason”.  However, this should be the last resort once everything else has failed.  You need to prove that the effect the breakdown in work relations is “Substantial” and has an adverse effect on the business.

The greater the number of employees who are involved in the protest would make your case stronger, and you should keep a paper trail of everything you have done.  Before dismissing you should, of course, meet with the ex-offender to give them a chance to put forward any alternatives.  You should also consider whether the ex-offender has any Protected Characteristics which could result in a claim for discrimination on the grounds of having a Protected Characteristic.

As ever, if this or a similar situation arises, please don’t hesitate to call advo hr who can guide you through the situation.


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