Editor's message: Employment contracts are generally terminated either by the employee resigning or the employer dismissing him or her.
When a contract of employment is terminated by dismissal or resignation the employer or employee must usually give, or be given, the correct period of notice by the other party.
Summary dismissal is dismissal without notice and should only be used for gross misconduct, where a situation occurs that is so serious that the employer is not required to give any notice. However, employers should investigate the circumstances before making a dismissal and follow a fair procedure even in these cases.
Fiona Cuming, employment law editor
Definition from the XpertHR glossary.
In Garside and Laycock Ltd v Booth  IRLR 735 EAT, the EAT allowed an appeal against a tribunal's decision that the dismissal of an employee for refusing to accept a pay cut proposed because of the employer's business difficulties was unfair.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that, when considering whether or not a dismissal for refusing to take a pay cut was fair for "some other substantial reason", the employment tribunal should look at the reasonableness of the employer's decision to dismiss, not whether or not the employee was reasonable in refusing the reduction in wages.
In Rogers v Microblade Ltd EAT/0041/09, the EAT held that an employee's contract of employment was terminated, not consensually varied, when the employee refused to accept changes to his shift pattern and the employer wrote to inform him that his old contract would end and that he would be re-engaged on the new terms when he signed a new contract.
In Rose v Dodd, the Court of Appeal holds that intervention by the Law Society in a sole practitioner solicitor's practice, and the suspension of the solicitor's practising certificate, did not automatically terminate an employee's contract of employment.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to termination of employment contracts.