Human Resources

3.0 Guidance

3.1 Conflicts of Interest

There may be situations where conflicts of interest arise during the disciplinary and dismissal process, examples of which include but are not limited to:

  1.  The Selection of the Individual in the Role of Chair, Investigating Manager or Other Formal Position - the College will ensure that individuals selected    to undertake formal roles during a disciplinary or dismissal case are impartial and not personally connected to any individual or issue in the case.
  2.  The Role of the Companion - it would not normally be reasonable for employees to insist on being accompanied by a companion whose presence         would prejudice the meeting or who might have a conflict of interest.

Advice and guidance from HR should be sought where a conflict of interest is possible.

3.2 Grounds for Disciplinary Action

The following are examples of the sort of breaches of conduct, other than gross misconduct, which could lead to disciplinary action. The list is not exhaustive or exclusive and further information is available from HR:

  • any minor infringement of the College’s Dignity at Work and Study commitments;
  • failure to comply with reasonable management instructions or requests;
  • persistent, unsatisfactory time-keeping and poor attendance;
  • careless destruction or waste of College property and/or failure to report such;
  • unauthorised absence;
  • minor breach of confidentiality (e.g. disclosure of confidential information to a person not authorised to receive it);
  • minor breach of College safety regulations or rules;
  • minor breach of the Financial Regulations;
  • minor breach of College rules about e-mail, web usage (including social media) or other computer usage procedures;
  • minor incapacity to perform the duties of the post due to the influence of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicating substances;
  • rudeness to colleagues, students, contractors or visitors;
  • minor breach of a specified condition of employment.

3.3 Gross Misconduct

The following are examples of conduct which the College will take extremely seriously. The list is not exhaustive or exclusive, however, the following will be considered as acts of gross misconduct:

  • any form of harassment or bullying relating to race, creed, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, age, language, religion or similar belief, political or other opinion, affiliation, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, national or social origin, birth or other status, membership or non- membership of a trade union;
  • the victimisation of someone because they have complained (whether formally or otherwise) that someone has been bullying or harassing them or someone else;
  • serious or wilful failure to comply with the College’s Equal Opportunities and Diversity Statement;
  • threatening behaviour or the use of physical violence or gross abuse against any member of, or visitor to, the College, or any other authorised person present on College property;
  • serious insubordination or refusal, without reasonable cause, to carry out a legitimate instruction given by an authorised member of staff;
  • wilful negligence or disregard of duties or instructions relating to employment;
  • negligence resulting in serious loss, damage or injury;
  • wilful and serious breach of the College’s health and safety rules, regulations or instructions;
  • serious breach of the College’s Financial Regulations;
  • serious breach of College rules about e-mail, the internet, social media or other computer usage procedures, including the downloading or deliberate accessing of pornographic, offensive or obscene material;
  • wilful and serious breach of confidentiality;
  • forgery involving the deliberate falsification of documents or other materials;
  • the acceptance of bribes or other serious breach of the College's anti-bribery policy;
  • use for personal gain of confidential information obtained by a member of staff during the course of employment;
  • theft or unauthorised removal of property belonging to the College or one of its employees or visitors;
  • receipt of property known to be the stolen property of the College, its  members of staff or a visitor to the College;
  • wilful damage to any property within the precincts of the College, irrespective of ownership;
  • serious incapacity to work due to being under the influence of alcohol or non-prescription drugs or other intoxicating substances, where conduct could endanger staff, students or the public. In such cases, where possible, a medical doctor will be asked to make an assessment of the staff member’s health or state of mind;
  • criminal conviction, the subject of which has a direct bearing on a member of staff’s suitability to do the job and their relationship with the College, work colleagues and customers. Please refer to section 2.2.9 of the Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedure - Special Cases;
  • unauthorised entry into an area of the College, or premises on which its courses are delivered, which is specifically barred or where a clear notice to this effect is displayed.

Birkbeck reserves the right to review, revise, amend or replace the content of this procedure and / or introduce new policies and procedures from time to time, subject to good practice principles of consultation where applicable, to reflect the changing needs of the College and to comply with legislation.

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The HR team is based on the first floor of Egmont House
Postal address: Human Resources, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX