Dismissing an employee is never an easy decision, but it can be even more difficult if you don’t know how to do it fairly. In the UK, there are a number of rules and regulations that employers must follow when dismissing an employee, and if you don’t follow them, you could end up facing legal action.
In this blog post, we will discuss the steps you need to take to fairly dismiss an employee in the UK. We will also cover some of the common mistakes that employers make when dismissing employees, and how to avoid them.
Why length of service matters
Having two years continuous employment in the UK gives you a number of rights and protections, including:
- The right to claim unfair dismissal. If you are dismissed without good reason, you may be able to claim unfair dismissal if you have two years continuous employment with your employer.
- The right to redundancy pay. If you are made redundant, you may be entitled to statutory redundancy pay if you have two years continuous employment with your employer.
What is a fair dismissal?
A fair dismissal is one that is based on a valid reason and is carried out in a reasonable way. There are a number of valid reasons for dismissing an employee, such as redundancy, misconduct, capability, or a fundamental breach of contract.
The way in which you dismiss an employee is also important. You must follow a fair process, which includes giving the employee the opportunity to respond to the allegations against them and to appeal the decision.
Steps to follow when dismissing an employee
If you are considering dismissing an employee, there are a number of steps you need to take:
- Assess the situation
The first step is to assess the situation and determine whether there is a valid reason for dismissing the employee. If you are not sure, you should seek legal advice.
- Give the employee notice
If the employee is being dismissed for redundancy, they must be given the appropriate notice period. If the employee is being dismissed for misconduct, they may not be entitled to any notice.
- Hold a disciplinary meeting
If the employee is being dismissed for misconduct, you should hold a disciplinary meeting. At this meeting, you should give the employee the opportunity to explain their actions and to respond to the allegations against them.
- Make a decision
After the disciplinary meeting, you will need to make a decision about whether to dismiss the employee. If you decide to dismiss the employee, you should give them a written statement of the reasons for their dismissal.
- Follow the correct procedure
When dismissing an employee, you must follow the correct procedure. This includes giving the employee the opportunity to appeal the decision and to receive redundancy pay (if applicable).
Common mistakes to avoid
There are a number of common mistakes that employers make when dismissing employees. These include:
- Not having a valid reason for dismissal
- Not following the correct procedure
- Not giving the employee notice
- Not giving the employee the opportunity to respond to the allegations against them
- Not giving the employee the opportunity to appeal the decision
Dismissing an employee is never an easy decision, but it can be even more difficult if you don’t know how to do it fairly. By following these steps, you can ensure that you dismiss an employee fairly and in compliance with the law.
If you need assistance with Dismissal or any other HR related issue, please get in touch.