Fairly Dismissing An Employee
Do you need to dismiss an employee?
You need to make sure that there is a fair reason for your employee’s dismissal and the process you follow is correct. Failure to follow a fair process could put your business at risk of an Employment Tribunal claim. Unfair dismissal is one of the most common tribunal claims and is often a result of not following a fair dismissal process.
If you are looking to dismiss an employee, to ensure you avoid a protracted and costly Tribunal claim, call us first. We offer a free initial advice call where we can discuss your situation and any issues.
We can then offer you guidance and assist you with each step of the process. We provide support with hearings and appeals and can make sure that everything is done correctly.
Fair reasons to dismiss
It is important to first have a fair reason to dismiss an employee. There are 5 fair reasons to dismiss:
- A statutory restriction (eg not having a driving licence if the employee is a driver)
- Some other substantial reason (eg a personality clash).
Once there is a potentially fair reason to dismiss, a fair process needs to be followed, otherwise, however fair the reason, the dismissal could be procedurally unfair.
Make sure you follow the correct procedure
In order to be a fair dismissal, the ACAS Code of Practice together with any company disciplinary procedure should be followed.
This includes ensuring that the following is done:
- Where necessary undertake an investigation to understand the facts and to get any evidence from third parties
- Inform the employee in writing of the allegation and invite them to attend a meeting so they have an opportunity to state their case before any decision is reached
- At the meeting your employee can be accompanied by a workplace colleague or a Trade Union representative (if they are a member of a union)
- Your employee should be able to ask questions, present evidence, call witnesses and raise points about the information provided by other witnesses
- Make sure your employee is given the right of appeal
If the decision is made to dismiss, it is important you can show you have acted reasonably, consistently and followed the correct procedures in making your decision.
When employees have been employed for more than 2 years or where there is a risk that dismissal is discriminatory due to a disability, their sex or age for example, it is essential to get expert guidance on the process. This will minimise the risk of an unfair dismissal or discrimination claim in the Employment Tribunal.
If you do not have a disciplinary procedure we can provide this, together with tailored guidance on how to correctly deal with a disciplinary investigation, hearing and any appeal. If you would like us to, we can be involved with the disciplinary hearing and personally attending the meeting with you. Many of our clients appreciate our step by step guidance and assistance.