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It is inevitable that at some stage of a business' life, an Employee may be dismissed. Dismissal occurs when (i) the Employer ends the contract; or (ii) a limited-term contract ends and is not renewed; or, (iii) the Employee resigns as a result of the Employer’s actions.


All dismissals must be fair. What is fair depends on the reason for dismissal and whether the Employer acts reasonably during the dismissal process depending on the circumstances.  If a contractual term is broken during the dismissal process then the dismissal will be wrongful.


Potentially fair reasons for dismissal include: (i) conduct; (ii) capability; (iii) redundancy; and, (iv) retirement.


An Employee must have been employed for at least one year before having the right to claim unfair dismissal. However there are automatically unfair reasons for dismissal which, if applicable, do not require an Employee to have been employed for a year before being able to make a claim.


An Employer must set out their dismissal and disciplinary rules and procedures in writing. The procedures should comply with the ACAS Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance.


Failure to have a written procedure can lead to an Employment Tribunal ordering an Employer to pay the Employee compensation. Failure to follow a written procedure can result in higher amounts of compensation being payable.


A Contract of Employment will normally state what behaviour constitutes Gross Misconduct. Gross Misconduct is a very serious allegation for an Employee to face as they can potentially be dismissed without the requirement for receiving previous warnings from the Employer in respect of their conduct. 


An Employee should be proactive in defending any allegation of Gross Misconduct and should fully prepare their case in advance of any disciplinary meeting being held.


An Employee has the right to be accompanied at meetings and has the right to appeal a decision.


Gross Misconduct Documents - Disciplinary and Dismissal - Employee Pack includes letters dealing with:


  • Notice to Employer prior to meeting enclosing details of the evidence being relied upon in favour of the Employee;
  • Employee's request to a change of date for a disciplinary meeting; and
  • Notice of Employee's intention to appeal a decision.