Understanding Employee Dismissal

 Understanding Employee Dismissal: A Must-Read for Employers

Employee dismissal can be a complex and sensitive issue for employers. It is a decision that should be approached with caution, as the consequences of mishandling it can be significant. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at employee dismissal and provide you with some essential information to help you navigate this tricky area of HR.

When should you dismiss someone?
Dismissal should always be a last resort. You hired your employee based on their skills and experience, so getting rid of them shouldn't be something you want to do. However, if you do decide to dismiss an employee, there must be a clear reason for doing so. The five broad reasons for a fair dismissal are:

  • Poor conduct, such as lateness
  • Lacking capability or the qualifications for the job
  • Redundancy, for example, when downsizing a team
  • A statutory duty or a restriction that forbids their employment from continuing
  • Some other substantial reason that explains the dismissal

Your Dismissal Procedure

To avoid a claim for unfair dismissal, it is essential to have a proper dismissal procedure in place. The following steps should be taken in order

  • Informal chat and improvement note
  • Verbal warning
  • First written warning
  • Second written warning
  • Final written warning
  • Dismissal, demotion, or transfer to another part of the business

It is essential to note that in cases of gross misconduct, disciplinary proceedings should start at stage six. Gross misconduct would include serious charges like theft, violence, fraud, sexual harassment, etc. If you go through a fair process, you may be able to skip a final written warning and give a summary dismissal.

Your dismissal procedures and policies should be open to your staff in their employee handbook, as well as in the statement of terms and conditions of employment. Give each new starter copies of these when they join. Whenever you make changes to these documents, tell all staff in writing. Make sure everyone in your business has access to your policies and procedures for discipline and grievance.

Types of dismissal that you should avoid

There are unlawful types of dismissal that employers should avoid. If found guilty of any of these, it could lead to a heavy blow to your reputation and a significant financial loss. These types of dismissals are:

  • Unfair dismissal

  • Wrongful dismissal

  • Constructive dismissal

  • Dismissal without notice

When you dismiss an employee, you'll normally have to give them their notice period. A summary dismissal, or instant dismissal, which you've given out because of gross misconduct, does not require a notice period nor pay in lieu of notice. If you dismiss someone without giving full notice, you could be guilty of wrongful dismissal. When a staff member leaves (with or without notice) due to their employer's conduct, this is known as constructive dismissal.

Conclusion :

Dismissal is a complex issue that should be approached with caution. As an employer, it is essential to follow a proper procedure and ensure that your policies and procedures are clear and accessible to your staff. If you follow these guidelines, you will have a better chance of avoiding a claim for unfair dismissal and ensuring that the dismissal process is fair and consistent for all employees.





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