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HR Tip – Behaviour outside work


These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.

Q: An employee was recently thrown out of a pub having, we understand, caused a lot of damage. Can we fire him?

A: Probably not. What the person did was in his own time and the appropriate action has been or will have been taken by the appropriate parties, that is to say the publican and, if called, the police.

You may wish to speak to the employee and point out that his behaviour might reflect badly upon your organisation, but in reality this is unlikely.

You could act differently if the employee was in the pub entertaining business clients or if the pub itself was a customer of your organisation because clearly then the behaviour would have affected business relationships.

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2 Responses

  1. May not be enforcable?
    With regard to the question re “outside work being treated as if at work”. My feeling is that this is may be too broad to be valid. I also wonder why it would be wanted?
    However, I have come across a phrase where amongst examples of gross misconduct they included “bringing shame on the company” this at least relates the actions to an effect on the company. Even there I am not sure that any action by the employer would simply be accepted by a tribunal or court.
    Overall, I would always urge a company to identify what, if any, specific damaging effect the actions have had on the company. Merely feeling that smashing up a pub is bad behaviour does not constitute grounds for action within a contract of employment.

  2. What if in terms and conditions
    What would be the status of the employee if in the terms and conditions a section was put in that says actions outside of work will be treated as if they happened at the work place?

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