How do I terminate an employee's employment


One of the unpleasant realities of running a business is having to dismiss an employee. This is never an easy task and there are rules and guidelines that a business will need to follow in order to protect itself from a future successful tribunal claim.

So what does the law say?

An employee who has completed two years continuous service has the right not be unfairly dismissed. A tribunal will consider whether the dismissal was fair or unfair and the burden of proving that the dismissal was fair falls upon the employer.

In order to show that an employee was dismissed fairly, an employer needs to show that there was a fair reason for dismissal, that a fair procedure was followed and that the employer acted within the band of reasonable responses when dismissing the employee.

Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, an employer must show that their actions in dismissing an employee falls within one of the 5 potentially fair reasons for dismissal which are as follows:

  • Conduct
  • Capability
  • Redundancy
  • Statutory Restriction
  • Some Other Substantial Reason

So when contemplating the dismissal of an employee, it is imperative that the reason falls into one of the above categories.

The process that follows will then very much depend on reason for the dismissal and the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures is good starting point to consider both procedural and substantive fairness.

We at Talbots strongly urge employers to get legal advice before dismissing an employee to ensure that it is for a fair reason and that the correct process is followed.

If you are contemplating dismissing and employee please do get in touch on 01384 445885 and in the meantime, please read our helpful pre-dismissal checklist.