Updated: May 7
There is no one element that makes a dismissal fair. But it only takes one thing to make a dismissal UNFAIR.
So, here are my top tips on keeping your dismissals fair and your backsides out of tribunal.
If you have a policy in place which states how you will manage disciplinaries, grievances or performance follow it. I can't stress this enough. If you are found to have breached your own rules, not only do you look quite silly, your dismissal will likely be deemed unfair.
Even if you don't have a policy in place, you must follow a fair procedure. That means:
👉 You must conduct a fair and impartial investigation.
👉 You must conduct the hearing properly and give the employee ample opportunity to review the evidence and state their case.
👉 You must allow the employee the right to be accompanied.
👉 You must inform the employee of their right to appeal.
But also, if the employee brings up new evidence or mitigation, you must give it due consideration.
Dismissal is a disciplinary sanction. Disciplinary sanctions must always be within the range of reasonable responses. For example a dismissal on a first offence for lateness would be unreasonable. When determining what a suitable sanction would be, you must give due consideration to:
👉 Length of service
👉 Previous conduct
👉 Mitigating circumstances
👉 Malicious intent
So all of this basically means that we have to work really hard to make sure our disciplinary procedures are rock solid when it comes to fairness.
My best tip for you is to make sure you discuss any potential dismissal with your HR support to ensure you have considered all the risks associated with the case.
If you've got any questions about dismissals or disciplinaries, get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org