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
In Phoenix House Ltd v Stockman, the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the tribunal decision that the covert recording of a confidential meeting was not a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence. The EAT gave guidance on the factors that may justify such a recording.
Updated to include information on Hallett v Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, concerning a junior doctor's terms and conditions on the monitoring of rest breaks.
Updated to include information on the Government's proposals to extend redundancy protection for employees during pregnancy and after maternity leave.
July 2019 saw progress made on an unusual number of proposed employment law changes. The Government published consultations covering workplace sexual harassment, statutory sick pay, family-friendly leave and pay, flexibility in working hours, modern slavery statements, and enforcement of worker rights. It also made announcements on changes to the laws on rehabilitation periods for offenders, settlement agreements, and protection against redundancy during pregnancy and maternity leave.
Updated to reflect that the Supreme Court allowed the appeal in Tillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd.
Updated to include additional information on the risks of dismissing employees who are entitled to receive payments under a permanent health insurance scheme.
XpertHR's annual survey of staff attrition rates for 2018 covers voluntary resignations and total turnover rates - including for those employees with less than 12 months' service - according to organisation size, broad sector and industry.
In Kelly v Royal Mail Group Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that a long-serving employee's dismissal for frequent absences in accordance with the employer's attendance policy was harsh but fair.
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.