At the weekend a massive security blunder at Old Trafford was all over the news. What it raises is a serious question with regard to the potential impact of such a blunder by a member of staff. So what is the legal position for employers? Ordinarily an employer must follow a fair procedure in accordance with the statutory ACAS code of practice when making the decision to dismiss an employee. This generally involves a process whereby the employee receives a verbal warning in the first instance, followed by a written warning or final written warning for repeated or more serious acts of misconduct. Similarly, any allegation of misconduct should be investigated by way of a disciplinary hearing and the employee should be offered the opportunity to put their case. However, in light of the recent public failing of a private security firm employee who left behind a pretend bomb at Old Trafford, it is worth noting that there is established case law which suggests that an employer can dismiss for a single serious failing. This usually has to be a failing which puts the employee or others in danger and it is important to remember serious errors are not an automatic reason to dismiss. If it is possible, a disciplinary investigation and hearing should almost always be carried out. The employee should be given the right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union representative and the right to appeal against any dismissal decision. In the circumstances at Old Trafford, best practice would be to allow the employee to address the allegations, particularly if this error is the employee's first allegation of serious misconduct.