Editor's message: If you are thinking of dismissing an employee, you need to be clear on the contractual and statutory requirements around the procedure to follow and the reason for the dismissal. This will help avoid the risk of an unfair or wrongful dismissal, or any other tribunal claim.
In some circumstances, for example where an employee commits an act of gross misconduct, you may be entitled to dismiss without notice. However, you must still carry out a thorough investigation and ensure that you follow a fair procedure before you reach your decision. A failure to give an employee the correct contractual or statutory notice of his or her dismissal without proper justification could result in an employment tribunal making an award for wrongful dismissal.
Be aware that the expiry of a fixed-term contract amounts to a dismissal. You must ensure that you have a fair reason for not renewing an employee's fixed-term contract (for example redundancy) and that you act reasonably in dismissing him or her for that reason. Not doing so may allow the employee to complain that the dismissal was unfair (provided that the qualifying conditions are met).
Sometimes a resignation can amount to a dismissal. This can happen where an employee resigns claiming constructive dismissal on account of a fundamental breach of his or her contract of employment.
Ashok Kanani, Employment law editor
Updated to include details of the increase in the limits on employment tribunal awards, effective from 6 April 2017.
Updated to include information on draft Regulations that require prescribed persons to report on workers' disclosures, due in force from 1 April 2017.
The Court of Appeal has held that an employee's failure to take action to remedy a situation was a serious dereliction of his duty that amounted to gross misconduct.
Chris Cook is a partner and Keely Rushmore is a senior associate at SA Law. They round up the latest rulings.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that the dismissal of an employee for physical violence was unfair because the employer failed to have regard to all the surrounding circumstances and the employee's exemplary disciplinary record over 42 years' service.
This tribunal decision concerns a long-serving employee who was dismissed for making derogatory comments about his colleagues and his employer that he had posted on Twitter up to three years previously.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that the dismissal of a teacher for showing an 18-rated film to a class of vulnerable 15- and 16-year-olds amounted to unfavourable treatment arising from his disability and was not justified.
Cases on appeal provides news on key case law developments that are expected.
In Khan v Stripestar Ltd EAT/0022/15, the EAT held that an employment tribunal was entitled to find that a dismissal was fair despite a wholly defective and unfair initial disciplinary hearing, because the subsequent internal appeal cured the defects earlier in the process.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to dismissal.