Eating a pie on camera: a bit of a laugh or gross misconduct?
As you may have seen in the news this month, Sutton United’s reserve goalkeeper, Wayne Shaw, resigned from his position after a stunt got him into hot water. Sutton United don’t normally see themselves in such high-profile football matches as the FA Cup tie against Arsenal, and the bookmakers offered odds before the game of 8-1 that Mr Shaw would eat a pie on screen during the match. Mr Shaw, with his new celebrity status, did exactly that and as a result this led to an investigation by the Football Association and the Gambling Association for potentially breaching betting rules during the FA Cup tie against Arsenal.
Eating humble pie
In this case, Mr Shaw was asked to resign and agreed to do so. However, what should an employer be aware of in similar grey areas, when considering whether to dismiss an employee?
Blue pie thinking
In similar situations, employers should consider the following points:
Steak and A
The Acas Code applies to dismissals for misconduct and covers some of the points that employers will be familiar with. According to the Acas Code, before dismissing for misconduct, an employer should:
Before employers rush to dismiss an employee in borderline situations they should be sure to follow the above guidance to ensure that they haven’t bitten off more than they can chew.