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.
Madeleine Graham, managing editor, employment law
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.
Updated to include information on Day v Health Education England (HEE), concerning a disclosure to HEE by a junior doctor employed by an NHS trust.
Kirsti Laird is senior associate at Charles Russell Speechlys. She rounds up the latest rulings.
The Court of Appeal has held that the employer was not required to match each category of gross misconduct to each allegation and that how the conduct was eventually categorised was a matter for the decision-maker after all the evidence had been adduced.
In City of York Council v Grosset EAT/0015/16, the EAT upheld a tribunal's decision that the dismissal of a teacher who showed an 18-rated film to a class of vulnerable 15- and 16-year-olds amounted to discrimination because of something arising from his disability under s.15 of the Equality Act 2010. The evidence available to the tribunal enabled a permissible conclusion that the misconduct arose in consequence of disability, and that dismissal was not objectively justified.
Darren Newman talks listeners through British Home Stores Ltd v Burchell, one of the most significant cases in employment law.
Updated to include the increase in compensation limits in cases of unfair dismissal, effective from 6 April 2017.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to unfair dismissal.