Dismissing an employee fairly

Do you need to dismiss an employee? If so, you need to ensure that the reason for the dismissal and the process you follow does not expose you to the risk of your employee bringing an Employment Tribunal claim. Unfair dismissal is one of the most common Tribunal claims and in a lot of cases this is due to not following a fair dismissal process.

If you are looking to dismiss an employee, without the risk of litigation, please call us first. We offer a free initial advice call where we can discuss the situation and the issues you are having.

We can then offer you guidance and assist you with each step of the process, helping you to deal with the dismissal hearing and any appeal hearing to ensure everything is dealt with correctly. For more advice specific to your situation call us on the numbers above or use our call back for a call back at a time that suits you.

Further information on dismissing an employee fairly

It is important to first have a fair reason to dismiss an employee. There are 5 fair reasons to dismiss, which are on the basis of:

  1. Conduct
  2. Capability
  3. Redundancy
  4. A statutory restriction (eg not having a driving licence if the employee is a driver)
  5. Some other substantial reason (eg a personality clash).

Once there is a potentially fair reason upon which to base a dismissal, a fair process then needs to be followed, otherwise the dismissal could be procedurally unfair.

In order to effect a fair dismissal the ACAS Code of Practice (note this does not apply to redundancy) together with any company disciplinary procedure should be followed.

  • This includes ensuring that the following is adhered to:
  • Where necessary undertake an investigation to understand the facts and to obtain 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 the employee can be accompanied by a workplace colleague or a Trade Union representative if they are a member of a union
  • The employee should be able to ask questions, present evidence, call witnesses and raise points about the information provided by other witnesses
  • The employee should be given the right of appeal

If the decision is made to dismiss an employee then it is important that an employer can show that they have acted reasonably and consistently in making that decision.

If you are dismissing an employee who has been employed for more than 2 years or who could allege that the dismissal is discriminatory because of a disability, their sex or age for example, then it is essential to obtain expert guidance on the process in order to 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 for you, together with guidance on how to deal with a disciplinary investigation, hearing and any appeal.

Many of our clients appreciate having step by step guidance and we can provide such assistance by being involved with the disciplinary hearing by personally attending the meeting with you in order to provide reassurance.