Everything Employers Need to Know About Dismissal

26 May 2022
The dismissal process is never easy but it’s essential that employers are aware of their responsibilities and have a firm understanding of exactly how to deal with these instances. By familiarising yourself with the subject of dismissal and by having processes and procedures in place, you’ll be able to ensure that you deal with these matters in a fair and legal manner. Plus, you’ll also be able to protect your business and your reputation too.
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From realising that the team member you recently recruited isn’t actually a good fit, to making the difficult decision to have to make staff redundant, the dismissal process can be incredibly challenging. We understand that the process might seem daunting and uncomfortable, it may seem that there’s no right or wrong way to handle these conversations. However, you’ll find that there is in fact a correct way to deal with these scenarios and there are various laws and legal guidelines that you should follow. Our team has answered some common questions on dismissal processes and included important information that all employers should make themselves aware of. 

Here at John Fowlers Solicitors, we’re experienced in helping businesses deal with a wide range of employment related issues. For any employment law enquiries, please get in touch with our Employment Law Solicitors in Colchester today.

What are the different types of dismissal?  

Whilst dismissal as a concept might seem fairly straightforward, there are actually several different types of dismissal that you should be aware of. 

Fair Dismissal

Generally, a fair dismissal is when you decide to dismiss an employee for a solid reason and have documents to support that you have followed a fair process. Reasons for a fair dismissal usually include conduct or misconduct, performance and capability, redundancy, or some other substantial reason (SOSR).  

Unfair Dismissal

When you decide to terminate an employee’s contract without a valid reason, it is considered to be unfair dismissal. It’s important to note that there are different types of unfair dismissal. Generally, employees will need to have given a company two years of service to be eligible to make a claim for unfair dismissal. 

Wrongful Dismissal

Whilst employees with less than two years’ service generally cannot claim unfair dismissal, they can make a claim for wrongful dismissal. Wrongful dismissal is when an employer breaches an employee's contract. This occurs when you dismiss someone without giving any notice, without giving them their full amount of notice, or not giving them their statutory notice. 

Probation Dismissal 

A probationary period is not considered to be statutory and will need to be agreed within the contract of employment signed by the employee and their employer. The contract should include information about the probationary period and detail whether they can be dismissed at a shorter notice whilst completing their probationary period. It’s also important to add the terms of the probationary period and whether it can be extended. 

When should I dismiss someone? 

Generally, dismissal should be your last resort. Where possible, it’s important to try and resolve any issues that you may be having. If you decide that dismissal is the best course of action, you must take care to follow a fair procedure.  

What are the steps I should follow when dismissing an employee? 

When it comes to dismissing an employee, we highly recommend that you follow your disciplinary procedure. It’s a good idea to gather evidence to support your decision and take notes throughout the process. Most importantly, make sure that you are not discriminating against an employee. You should invite the employee to a disciplinary meeting, stop the meeting to make your decision, inform the employee of your decision and follow up with the outcome of the meeting in writing. If you decide to dismiss the employee, don’t forget to remind them of their right to appeal. 

When it comes to dismissing an employee, the process can be uncomfortable and difficult. It can also be difficult to determine if you’re making the right decision. Our experienced legal team at John Fowlers Solicitors help businesses with a wide range of employment issues. We’ll be able to advise you on the best route forward and will be able to help you protect your business and your team. 

We’re experienced in providing representation and legal advice on a range of employment law matters. Contact our employment law expert, Karen Morovic, for support with all your employment law needs.

Speak to an expert:
Karen Morovic 
01206 593433