For most businesses, there will, unfortunately, come a time when it is necessary to dismiss an employee. From experience, we know that many of our clients will delay doing this because they are unclear about their legal rights and obligations. With our unique package of low cost, flexible employment and HR services, we can help you complete a dismissal in a way which meets your obligations to your employee and protects your business from any associated risks or legal liability.
When can an employee be dismissed?
The law broadly divides dismissals up into fair and unfair dismissals. A dismissal will be fair if:
- it is linked to the employee’s conduct or capability to perform their role;
- the employee is being made redundant, provided the redundancy is not discriminatory; or
- it is a statutory requirement, for example, if an employer is prohibited from continuing employment because they have committed a criminal offence.
A dismissal can also be fair if there is another good, substantial reason for it. Seek our advice today if you are unsure whether a dismissal would meet this test.
When does a dismissal create legal liability?
A dismissal creates legal liability if it is ‘unfair’. A dismissal will be unfair if:
- the employee is being dismissed for exercising employment-related rights, for example, maternity rights, parental rights, rights linked to their being a part-time or fixed-term employee, rights related to employee representation or trade union membership, and rights related to working hour or pay regulations; or
- it is discriminatory, i.e. it relates to a protected characteristic under the Equality Act, such as race, gender, sexual orientation or maternity.
How we can help
We can help you decide if dismissal is the best option for dealing with an issue, or if there are other less onerous methods of handling a problem. If you are concerned about a dismissal being open to legal challenge, we can help you collate documentation and build a case which will stand up to external scrutiny. We can also help you manage any reputational or organisational risks which may result from a dismissal, including negative press attention or employee dissatisfaction.