Our clients include employers and employees and the aim for both parties is to resolve the situation satisfactorily and quickly as possible.
By taking legal advice from our team of specialist employment solicitors prior to making dismissals, you ensure that your dismissal process and decisions will be made in line with current legislation and also receive commercial and practical advice on how to handle these tough decisions.
In order for a dismissal to be fair it needs to be for one of the following reasons:
- Where an employee’s behaviour falls short of the expected standards and can include actions such as breaches of workplace policies, theft or inappropriate behaviour towards colleagues.
- Capability or Performance: This includes situations where an employee continuously fails to meet the required performance for their job or lacks the appropriate skills. Support should be considered and a fair process followed, including setting performance goals and allowing the employee a chance to improve performance before dismissal is considered.
- An employer must demonstrate a genuine redundancy situation, which can be due to the closure of a business altogether, the closure of a particular workplace, relocation of a workplace or diminution in the requirement for employees to carry out particular work.
- Statutory illegality: This covers a small portion of situations where if employment continued, it would breach a statutory obligation. For example, when an employee loses their qualification which is necessary to undertake their role.
- Some Other Substantial Reason (SOSR): This is a ‘catch-all’ which covers a range of fair reasons which don’t fall under the above four categories and can include, for example, situations where there has been a breakdown of trust and confidence or other legitimate reasons for dismissal.
The Acas Code of Conduct also requires that a fair process be carried out prior to the decision to dismiss. In some instances, the best option may be to offer the employee a Settlement Agreement in order to neatly bring their employment to an end. We can assist in drafting and negotiating Agreements on your behalf which will bring you peace of mind that no claim can you brought against you by the departing employee.
On occasions, an employee may appeal their dismissal, particularly if the initial process was not undertaken clearly. You must have an appeal process for employees to follow which should be completely impartial to the original decision. Should an employee appeal their dismissal, we can assist in ensuring the appeal is dealt with fairly quickly.
Redundancy consultations form a crucial part of the redundancy process and one that many employers struggle to get right. We can assist by ensuring your consultations are fair, meaningful and meet statutory requirements. This would include ensuring there is a genuine business reason for the redundancies, that the selection process is fair and that other genuine alternative work has been considered fully. Furthermore, you must ensure that you consult for the right amount of time, which differs on the amount of staff being put at risk.