Editor's message: Every employment relationship will inevitably come to an end at some point, whether the split is amicable (for example retirement or the employee moving on to new pastures) or potentially difficult (as is often the case with dismissal).
The right not to be unfairly dismissed provides a reasonably high degree of protection for employees, with employers needing both to have a fair reason to dismiss - such as redundancy or the employee's misconduct or lack of capability - and to follow a fair procedure. They must also act reasonably in treating the reason as sufficient reason to dismiss.
Following changes to the law in the last decade, the concept of a compulsory retirement age is now limited to the rare circumstances in which this can be justified. Most employees are therefore free to "retire" at any age they choose, simply by giving the required notice of resignation.
Depending on the circumstances in which an individual's employment comes to an end, there will be practicalities for your organisation to consider, including the return of company property, calculating final payments and the option of paying in lieu of notice. In some circumstances - most commonly where the employee has given notice of resignation to work for a competitor - a period of garden leave may be a possibility.
Zuraida Curtis, employment law editor
Updated to include information on WM Morrison Supermarkets plc v Various claimants, in which the Court of Appeal held that the employer was vicariously liable for the actions of an employee who disclosed the personal data of fellow employees online.
In Hawkes v Ausin Group (UK) Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that the employer's failure to hold a meeting with a reservist employee, before making the decision to dismiss, did not make the dismissal for some other substantial reason unfair.
How do labour turnover rates for your organisation measure up against those of your competitors? New XpertHR data enables you to benchmark labour turnover rates at your organisation against those for others in the same sector.
Updated to include information on East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust v Levy, in which the EAT held that a letter of notice was not a resignation due to ambiguous wording.
XpertHR has been gathering key HR metrics for over a decade. Here we discuss the trends over time in sickness absence rates, labour turnover and the ratio of HR practitioners to employees.
XpertHR's Policies and documents tool has been enhanced with the addition of six new model letters covering the redeployment or dismissal of an employee who is disqualified from driving where this forms a part of his or her job duties.
In East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust v Levy, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that an employee's letter of notice to her department did not amount to a resignation from the respondent's employment because the wording used was ambiguous.
A model letter to invite an employee disqualified from driving to a meeting to discuss the options available to him or her.
A model letter to offer redeployment to an employee who has been disqualified from driving following a meeting at which you have discussed this with him or her.
A model letter to dismiss an employee who has been offered redeployment following his or her disqualification from driving, but who refuses that offer.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to the end of employment.
Access our main resources on end of employment according to the type of information you need.