Often described as ‘your best asset’, staff can also be a pain in neck (or much lower down, as this retailer put it) and not to put too fine a point on it, they can also be crooks. My caller wanted to know what he could do about a youngish lady who not only wasn’t too fussed about showing up on time or showing up “in good shape” but sometimes didn’t show up at all. And when she did, he suspected that she was pinching cigs and other goods. At this point he had no real proof.

The short answer is get rid of her. Even if she isn’t stealing, she is a liability. But there are procedures for this unless you catch her red-handed or on camera and can instantly dismiss her. The best advice is to ring the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. They are fair and they know their stuff. And if you get it wrong and get taken to a tribunal, then ACAS will be sitting in judgement, so far better to bounce it off them in the first place. it can be reached on 08457 474747.