Every business owner or manager faces making a dismissal at some time or another – it’s often a necessary requirement within any type of business. The key is to avoid the pitfalls that can, in some cases, expose employers to potential claims. Here’s some advice to help you manage a dismissal effectively.

Fundamental factors to consider are the method and reasonableness of a dismissal procedure. A dismissal may be completely justified, whereas a flawed procedure may render the termination invalid or unfair.

Ideally, employee documentation – such as rules governing gross misconduct or general misconduct procedure – should support the overall outcome, and employers are encouraged to remain in-line with their own policies in the prevention of any breach.

A case example

An example of the above can be found in the recent case of An Employee v A Hotel Manager.

The employee threatened the life of the manager who, on calling the authorities, dismissed the employee without process. The dismissal was deemed to be unfair and the employee awarded €3,500 in damages.

What’s the correct procedure?

An employee found to have acted in a manner conducive with gross misconduct would, in normal circumstances, be required to be placed on paid suspension by the employer; thus removing them from the working environment as a holding measure, pending investigation.

Following a full investigation, a disciplinary hearing and due consideration of what the employee has put forward by way of defence, termination of employment may be the outcome.

Not all dismissals are the result of a straightforward gross miscount issue of course. Employers may find that employees receive numerous warnings, known as a ‘Build on Warnings’, which ultimately result in a termination of employment. Even if the individual breaches are of a minor nature, cumulatively they will enable an employee to dismiss on reasonable grounds.

It’s recommended that confirmation of termination be provided in writing, affording the employee the right of appeal should they feel the decision is unfair. If this transpires, an impartial chair should be appointed to hear the appeal and confirm if the decision to dismiss should be upheld or overturned.

If you have any queries relating to employee dismissals or disciplinary procedures, please call our 24 Hour Advice Service on 01 855 50 50