As an employer what do I need to be aware of when dismissing an employee?

The dismissal of an employee

There may be many reasons why an employer may feel that they have to dismiss an employee and it may be a very problematic time for the employer.

When dismissing an employer the employer must adhere to certain procedures to ensure that the dismissal is not wrongful or unfair.

Accordingly if an employer wishes to dismiss an employee if they want to do this correct then there are a number of issues which they should take into consideration.

When can an employee bring a claim for wrongful or unfair dismissal?

An employee will be able to bring about a claim for wrongful or unfair dismissal if the following has occurred:

  • That the employee has been dismissed for a reason other than one which is allowed by law

  • That the employee has been dismissed without the correct procedure being followed

  • That the employee has been dismissed without the proper amount of notice being given

If an employer wrongfully or unfairly dismisses an employee will they be open to legal action?

If an employer wrongfully or unfairly dismisses an employee then they will leave themselves open for legal challenge by that employee. Furthermore where the claim by that employee is successful then can in certain cases be able to claim substantial amounts of damages.

As an employer if a claim is brought against me even if it is unsuccessful could this cause potential problems?

Even in cases where the claim is successful the costs of defending the claim may be significant especially in terms of management time. Accordingly as an employer it is imperative that the proper procedures are followed when dismissing an employee.

As an employer how should I ensure that I dismiss an employee fairly and properly?

The first thing for an employer to note is that the decision to dismiss an employee must be fair.

When will a decision to dismiss an employee be regarded as fair?

A decision to dismiss an employee will be regarded as fair if:

  • It relates to the employee’s conduct

  • It relates to the employee’s capability or qualifications

  • It is because of redundancy

  • It is because the employee has reached normal retirement age

  • Where continuing to employ that person would be illegal – for example due to their immigration status

  • The dismissal is for some other substantial reasons – i.e. a fair reason that does not fall within the above categories

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For more information on:

  • What happens if an employer dismisses an employee for any other reason?
  • Can any employee bring a claim of unfair dismissal against their employer?
  • As an employer must I ensure that I follow a fair procedure when dismissing an employee?
  • What procedure should I follow for a dismissal for poor performance?
  • What procedure should I follow when dismissing an employee on grounds of retirement?
  • What procedure must an employer follow for a general dismissal case?
  • As an employer should I ensure that an employee is given a right of appeal?
  • As an employer must I be able to show that I acted reasonably in dismissing an employee?
  • As an employer am I required to dismiss an employee in accordance with a specific notice period?
  • How much notice am I required to give?
  • How much notice is reasonable notice?
  • Are there any other issues which I should be aware of as an employer?