What should you do if one of your employees ‘did a Tevez’?

28 Sep 2011

Manchester City might not enjoy the story on the back pages of their 2-0 defeat at Bayern Munich last night, but manager Roberto Mancini will certainly not like the fact that Carlos Tevez is once again on the front pages, this time for apparently refusing to come on as a substitute. 

Mancini’s irritation was obvious after the game, as he dramatically announced “”If I have my way he will be out. He’s finished with me.”

It’s not only football fans who may have sympathy with Mancini; many employers have been faced with the situation where an employee wilfully refuses to obey an instruction. 

If that rings any bells, what are your options?

As with most things in employment law, the starting point is having the right policies in place.  Many employers will include as an example of gross misconduct “insubordination” or “refusing to carry out a lawful instruction”.  If your disciplinary policy does include examples such as those and an employee does rebel, provided that you follow the correct procedures, a dismissal is likely to be fair.

That said, it’s important to remember that simply announcing “you’re finished with me”, whether it’s to the employee or to the world’s press, means that any disciplinary has clearly been predetermined and so the dismissal will be unfair.