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 Tees Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust v Harland and others, in which the EAT considered how to determine the "principal purpose" in relation to a service provision change.
Updated to include information on Beatt v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, concerning an employee’s dismissal for making protected disclosures.
The Court of Appeal heard the appeal in the important whistleblowing case Chesterton Global Ltd (t/a Chesterton Humberts) and another v Nurmohamed on 8 June. The Court of Appeal is considering when a disclosure is "in the public interest", a key hurdle for claimants seeking to demonstrate that a disclosure is protected.
Cases on appeal provides news on key case law developments that are expected.
The Court of Appeal has held that, where the reason or principal reason for a dismissal is because the employee made a disclosure, the question of whether or not that disclosure is protected falls to be determined objectively by the tribunal, and not the employer.
The Court of Appeal has held that, in the absence of an express term in the employment contract, a posted notice of dismissal is effective only when it is "actually communicated" to the employee.
An employment tribunal has rejected the unfair dismissal claim of a long-serving employee with a clean disciplinary record who was dismissed over comments she made on Facebook about her employer.
In this podcast, XpertHR consultant editor Darren Newman looks at Western Excavating v Sharp, which defined "constructive dismissal" and led the courts and tribunals to develop the implied term of mutual trust and confidence.
Kirsti Laird is senior associate at Charles Russell Speechlys. She rounds up the latest rulings.
A model letter informing an employee of the outcome of a stage 3 long-term sickness absence formal review meeting.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to dismissal.