Editor's message: The need to dismiss an employee can arise for various reasons, including redundancy, as a disciplinary sanction or due to on-going absence because of the employee's ill health.
If you are faced with a situation where you have to dismiss an employee, you should familiarise yourself with your organisation’s policies and procedures and ensure that you follow them. As well as being good practice, this will assist in ensuring that the situation giving rise to the possibility of dismissal is dealt with fairly. Also, failing to follow procedures correctly might cause difficulties if you have to defend a decision to dismiss on appeal, or if the employee challenges the fairness of the dismissal in an employment tribunal.
Be aware that the expiry of a fixed-term contract amounts to a dismissal. Therefore, you need to ensure that you have a fair reason for not renewing an employee's fixed-term contract and that you act reasonably in deciding not to renew the contract. Not doing so may allow the employee to complain that the dismissal was unfair.
Zeba Sayed, employment law editor
Updated to include information on British Airways v Pinaud, in which the EAT held that a part-time employee had been subjected to less favourable treatment in relation to days of availability to work.
A table listing the unfair dismissal awards made by employment tribunals in 2016/17.
Updated to include information on the Freedom to speak up: raising concerns (whistleblowing) policy for the NHS and the Whistleblowing Commission's Code of practice for effective whistleblowing arrangements.
Updated to include information on Federatie Nederlandse Vakereniging and others v Smallsteps BV, in which the ECJ held that a "pre-pack" administration may not prevent employees from having TUPE rights.
In this week's podcast, we demystify the concept of constructive dismissal.
Updated to take into account a change relating to whether or not a disclosure is in the public interest.
Updated to include information on the Court of Appeal decision in Chesterton Global Ltd and another v Nurmohamed on the definition of "in the public interest".
Updated to include information on Walker v Innospec Ltd and others, in which the Supreme Court considered entitlement to pension benefits for same-sex partners.
The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the employment tribunal that disclosures made by a worker satisfied the "public interest" requirement for protection under the whistleblowing provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996. The disclosures related to a breach of the employment contracts of 100 senior managers, including the whistleblower.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to dismissal.