We can outline guidelines and advise employers on the correct procedure for dismissing employees.
What are employers and employees entitled to?
Employers are entitled to dismiss an employee due to the employees conduct or performance, or due to the employee being redundant. In certain circumstances an employer can dismiss an employee because it would be unlawful to continue to employ them, or for retirement. Finally, there is a catch-all provision entitling employers to lawfully dismiss an employee for a reason falling outside of the above.
It is important to identify the reason for the dismissal of an employee at the outset as, if the employer is found to have dismissed an employee due, for example, to their requesting maternity leave or participating in trade union activities then the dismissal can be held to have been automatically unfair.
How can we help?
We can assist employers where they are contemplating dismissing an employee for any reason, and we can advise them on the correct procedure for doing so. In most cases, where a proper procedure has been followed by the employer, for example the ACAS guidelines relating to misconduct, they may lawfully dismiss an employee. It is crucial to consider, and we can advise on, alternative sanctions to dismissal, for example giving a written warning, where appropriate.
If an employee who has been dismissed brings a claim for unfair dismissal at the Employment Tribunal, we can represent the employer by making a robust and comprehensive response (defence) to that claim. At the outset we will assess the merits of the claim and advise the employer on the most likely outcome including the amount of compensation, if any, which is likely to be awarded against them. We will also advise the employer regarding negotiating a confidential settlement and will take into account all their concerns in relation to defending the claim including financial, media related and any impact on workforce morale.