Editor's message: If you reach a decision to dismiss an employee, bear in mind that employees have the right not to be unfairly dismissed under the Employment Rights Act 1996.
If the employee complains to an employment tribunal that they were unfairly dismissed, you will have to show that the reason for the dismissal is one of the potentially fair reasons set out in the Employment Rights Act, such as redundancy, conduct and capability. If you can establish this, an employment tribunal will go on to consider if you acted reasonably in dismissing the employee, taking into account all the circumstances. A diligent employer will need to show that they investigated the matter, followed a fair procedure and ultimately made a reasonable decision to dismiss.
If a dismissal is found to be unfair, employment tribunals generally order the employer to pay financial compensation to the employee. Very occasionally, employment tribunals exercise their powers to order employers to re-engage or reinstate the employee.
Zeba Sayed, employment law editor
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.
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".
HR and legal information and guidance relating to unfair dismissal.