A dismissal is where an employer takes the decision to terminate an employee’s contract of employment, thereby bringing the employment relationship to an end. A dismissal may take place for a number of reasons but primarily occurs where the employee is guilty of gross misconduct, the employee has a number of misconduct or competence warnings on file leading to an eventual dismissal and where the employee’s position is being made redundant.
To bring someone’s employment to an end, with the associated costs and problems for both employee and employer, is not a decision to be taken lightly. Employees have rights and employers have obligations. There are various claims which can be made during employment Litigation where a dismissal may be deemed unfair or discriminatory. The most common reason for finding dismissals to be unfair tends to be where the employer has failed to follow a fair procedure in dismissing the employee. Employers need to be aware that they are obliged to follow fair procedures if they wish to dismiss an employee for any reason. This is outlined in the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977-2001, which also requires an employee to provide an employee with the dismissal procedure in writing after they commence employment. In addition, where an employer wishes to dismiss an employee for disciplinary reasons then the fairness of the dismissal procedure will be assessed in accordance with S.I. No. 146/2000 — Industrial Relations Act, 1990 (Code of Practice on Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures) (Declaration) Order, 2000, of which employers should be cognisant.