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. These 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 be potentially dismissed without the requirement for receiving previous warnings from the Employer in respect of their conduct.
An Employer should ensure that they closely follow the procedure they have in place and ensure that the Employee is aware of the procedure and has a written copy.
Gross Misconduct Documents - Disciplinary and Dismissal - Employer Pack includes letters dealing with:
Notice to Employee that a disciplinary meeting is to be held;
Notice to Employee that a dismissal hearing is to be held;
Employee's non attendance at a meeting;
Dismissal of Employee;
Notice of appeal meeting; and
Outcome of appeal meeting.