The basic steps for staff dismissal are as follows:
- Inform the human resources manager or equivalent
- Set up a meeting with the employee
- Lead with the bad news
- Reference previous performance goal failures
- Keep your explanation short but specific
- Listen to what they say and repeat your decision
- Thank the employee for their services and wish them all the best
Dismissal is when you end an employee’s contract. When dismissing staff you must do it fairly.
There are different types of dismissal:
- fair dismissal
- unfair dismissal
- constructive dismissal
- wrongful dismissal
A dismissal is fair or unfair depending on:
- your reason for it
- how you act during the dismissal process
A constructive dismissal is when an employee resigns because you’ve breached their employment contract. This could be a single serious event or a series of less serious events.
An employee could claim constructive dismissal if you:
- cut their wages without agreement
- unlawfully demote them
- allow them to be harassed, bullied or discriminated against
- unfairly increase their workload
- change the location of their workplace at short notice
- make them work in dangerous conditions
A constructive dismissal isn’t necessarily unfair – but it would be difficult for you to show that a breach of contract was fair. A constructive dismissal might lead to a claim for wrongful dismissal.
A wrongful dismissal is where you break the terms of an employee’s contract in the dismissal process, eg dismissing someone without giving them proper notice. Wrongful dismissal isn’t the same as unfair dismissal.
If an employee thinks you’ve dismissed them unfairly, constructively or wrongfully, they might take you to an employment tribunal.
For the best outcome we recommend sourcing a local lawey with the necessary employment law expertise.
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