What’s more serious: Insubordination or gross insubordination?
Some of the confusion is around the seriousness of these two offences. For example, our experts often get questions from employers who want to know what’s more serious between insubordination and gross insubordination.
If you want to know the answer too, keep reading so you’ll be able to discipline your employees in a legal manner.
Before we get to which’s more serious, let’s first define gross insubordination and insubordination
In this article, Taryn Strugnell, the Managing Editor for Labour Law for Managers says:
Insubordination is when an employee fails to obey a direct and specific order; and
Gross insubordination is an employee’s deliberate defiance of your authority. He breaches a basic duty to be compliant and refuses to follow reasonable instructions. He intentionally challenges your authority and makes continued employment unbearable.
We bet from this definition you already have an idea of what’s more serious. Let’s take a look at what’s more serious.
There's a fine line between insubordination, gross insubordination and insolence of an employee. Do you know the difference? How would you discipline an employee in each instance? If you get it wrong you could lose at the CCMA!
Find out how to discipline in each case so it doesn’t land up costing you!
Here’s the answer to which’s more serious between insubordination and gross insubordination
Insubordination is less serious compared to gross insubordination.
If, for example, your employee fails to follow your instruction because he runs out of time or forgets to do something you asked, it’s insubordination and not gross insubordination.
He didn’t intend to defy your authority. So you can just give him a warning. Dismissing him would be unfair.
Gross insubordination is different matter and it’s more serious. That’s because in this case an employee refuses to follow your instruction. It’s a direct and wilful challenge to your authority.
And since this deliberate and wilful refusal goes against the most important duty of an employee, (your employee has a basic duty to follow your instructions) you can dismiss him for gross insubordination.
Now that you know what’s more serious between insubordination and gross insubordination, discipline your employees in a legal manner.
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