Business Employment Law

Legal Advice On Dismissal Procedures For Employers

Our team can help with dismissal procedures and settlement agreements

Our expert employment solicitors can provide you with legal advice on dismissal procedures to help you determine whether you have a fair reason for dismissing an employee. Our solicitors will also ensure that you follow a reasonable investigation and the appropriate dismissal procedure.

What are the 5 fair reasons for dismissal?

There are currently five potential fair reasons for dismissal:

  • Conduct e.g. theft, unauthorised absence from work, insubordination, failed drug test
  • Capability e.g. where the employee is not performing to the required standard or has ill health which makes it difficult for them to do their job
  • Redundancy e.g. where the job is no longer needed
  • Statutory illegality i.e. where it is illegal to employ an individual, such as where a lorry driver is banned from driving
  • Some other substantial reason e.g. unreasonable refusal to accept changes to terms and conditions of employment or a breakdown in the working relationship

In any of these circumstances, we will advise you where the ACAS code on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures applies and, where it does, the consequences of failing to comply, including potential uplifts to tribunal awards. Where appropriate, we will advise on a severance package and can facilitate termination negotiations under a settlement agreement. We can also advise you of the risk of a successful claim and how best to minimise that risk.


What is unfair dismissal?

Generally speaking, an employee who has completed two years continuous service has the right not to be unfairly dismissed. The dismissal of a qualifying employee might be fair if the dismissal was for one of the five potentially fair reasons, the reason was enough to justify dismissal them, and the employer followed a full and fair procedure. If one or all of these elements are not present, then the employee may be eligible to bring a claim for unfair dismissal. In some circumstances, employees with less than two years continuous service may be eligible to bring a claim for unfair dismissal, for example in situations related to pregnancy or taking action over a health and safety issue.

Mel McCrum

Mel McCrum

Partner, Head of Department