It is inevitable that at some point, as an employer, your relationship with an employee or employees will come to an end.
There are limited situations in which an employer is legally allowed to dismiss someone from their job. These include conduct, capability, redundancy, statutory illegality or some other substantial reason.
If the employer can show that there was “some other substantial reason” for dismissing the employee, and that they followed a fair procedure, and the decision to dismiss fell within the range of reasonable responses open to the employer, the dismissal will be held to be fair. This can be, and has been, used to the employer’s advantage on many occasions.
Some other substantial reason may be an employee’s refusal to accept a change in terms relating to hours, pay or job content. It could be discovering that the employee had originally concealed medical problems from the employer, or reasonably believing (although it was mistaken) that an employee had resigned. The reasonableness of a dismissal for some other substantial reason will depend on the facts and so it’s important to get specific legal advice first.
Getting the reason for dismissal wrong, or making a mistake during the dismissal process, could lead to the dismissed employee bringing an unfair dismissal claim against you.
There are things you can now do to help guard against difficult disciplinary issues and claims. For example, although it is not compulsory, it’s helpful if your disciplinary procedure sets out types of conduct you regard as misconduct so employees are left in no doubt.
Our specialist employment lawyers at Eric Robinson Solicitors can advise you on the law and best practice to make sure that, whenever you’re thinking about dismissal, the steps you take are the right ones.