How to dismiss an employee legally

Ever found yourself in the unenviable position of having to dismiss an employee? It’s one of the most challenging parts of running a business and must be handled sensitively.


We’ve put together a handy, free-to-download guide on how to dismiss an employee that looks at exactly what you need to do to follow a fair disciplinary procedure and protect yourself from unfair dismissal claims and costly tribunals.


To wet your appetite, here’s some simple steps to consider when dismissing an employee:


  1. Follow your disciplinary procedure  

You must follow the disciplinary procedure in your contractual documents, including the different stages of the dismissal process and potential sanctions. 


Need help putting your contracts and policies together? We’ve got you covered. Our HR & Employment Law experts create your contracts, handbooks and policies, so you don’t have to. Contact us to find out how our HR & Employment Law package can take the guesswork out of your disciplinary and dismissal procedures. 


  1. Carry out a full investigation

A reasonable investigation helps you to gather all necessary facts and comply with the Acas code. Our free guide explains when to carry out the investigation and who should conduct it. 


  1. Ensure that you have a valid reason for dismissal 

You’ve got a legal responsibility to dismiss an employee fairly. A dismissal procedure must be for an authorised reason to be deemed legally fair. Our free guide tells you what’s considered fair and unfair, so you can confidently follow a fair dismissal process. By taking this crucial step, you can avoid having to go through a costly tribunal!


  1. Take care not to discriminate

It’s unlawful to dismiss an employee on discriminatory grounds. Our free guide explains how to make sure you don’t trip up. 


  1. Adjourn the meeting

The disciplinary chair must conduct the hearing with an open mind. Adjourning the meeting before making a final decision allows time to consider all the points raised. Our free guide explains what to do before, during and after a disciplinary hearing to ensure that a fair dismissal procedure is followed.


  1. Invite the employee to a meeting in writing, setting out the allegations and giving them time to prepare

Inviting your employee to a disciplinary hearing with reasonable notice (a couple of working days) gives them the information and time needed to prepare a defence. Documenting all communications and meetings with the employee is essential as proof that you’ve followed a fair dismissal process.


  1. Document the process, including taking notes in the meeting 

Documentary records are essential evidence for proving what was said at the meetings and that the correct procedure was followed. Any decisions should be made in a letter, including the right to appeal. 


Whether you need some advice on how to dismiss an employee in a probationary period or for gross misconduct, you’ll find all the right information here. Just fill in your details to grab your copy and get started.

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