In spite of recent proposed changes, nothing is ever simple when it comes to dismissals.
As an employer you may think there are ways in which you can dismiss employees without any recourse. This is rarely true.
One of the most common types of tribunal claim is unfair dismissal and according to the Tribunal Service’s annual figures, a total of 46,300 unfair dismissal claims were received between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012. Many business owners believe they are aware of what can and can’t be done, but often this is not the case.
It’s not surprising many people are confused, so what are the things you can’t do?
- If an employee doesn’t turn up to work for a period, you can’t just assume they have dismissed themselves. There is always a process to follow to ensure you are protected.
- When it comes to dismissing an employee don’t assume you can do so instantly because you can’t! You need to ensure you follow a fair and legal process.
- Only employees with at least two years’ service are able to claim unfair dismissal. Wrong! Before April 6, 2012, employees with one year’s service can also take a claim for unfair dismissal.
There are other risks that you may need to consider, so before you utter the words: ‘You’re fired!’ just stop and think about what other issues there may be.
If you’re in any doubt, seek the advice of a professional.
By Debbie Cohen, Streetwise HR