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
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that including details of previous non-disciplinary incidents in the investigation report did not make the dismissal unfair.
Updated to include information on amendments to whistleblowing legislation in Northern Ireland, effective from 1 October 2017.
An employment tribunal has held that an estate agent administrator who resigned after she was told that she would be "better suited to a traditional estate agency" was subjected to age discrimination.
In O'Brien v Bolton St Catherine's Academy  IRLR 547 CA, the Court of Appeal held that the employer's decision to disregard new medical evidence and dismiss an employee on long-term sickness absence amounted to both discrimination arising from disability and unfair dismissal.
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.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to dismissal.