Summary dismissal letter

09 July 2019

Summary dismissal is the termination of an employee without any notice period or pay. In most cases, it happens because of an act of gross misconduct. When an employee receives an instant dismissal, you’ll need to provide them with a contract termination letter explaining the reasons for your decision. This is an important document to write. In this guide, we’ll take you through what to include in your letter to avoid breaking any employment laws.

Terminating an employee’s contract

Generally, an act of gross misconduct is serious enough to overturn the contract between you and your employee. Examples of gross misconduct include:

  • Theft or fraud.
  • Physical violence.
  • Incapacity due to alcohol or drugs.
  • Serious insubordination.

If a decision is made to summarily dismiss an employee, it’s highly important you follow a fair disciplinary procedure. Remember that, legally, employees can bring a claim for unfair dismissal. This is if there are any procedural flaws identified throughout the dismissal process.

Instant dismissal letter

A significant part of a fair process is ensuring that the correct paperwork is sent out to employees. This incorporates invitations to investigation and disciplinary hearings and, ultimately, a letter of dismissal. It’s important that dismissal letters are properly constructed as it can help to avoid misinterpretations or disputes arising at a later date. You should bear in mind the contents of a dismissal letter will be scrutinised by an employment tribunal if a claim is made. So you should ensure it’s clear, succinct, and includes all relevant information needed to be able to demonstrate your thought process behind the decision. Strong letters will clearly state that the individual’s employment is to end and will include the reasons why the employer believes that their behaviour has resulted in a termination of the employment relationship. The date on which employment is to end must be clearly set out. The letter should conclude by stating that the employee has a right to appeal against this decision, alongside the appropriate persons to contact regarding this, and how long they have to pursue this option. By using a pre-constructed template which highlights what information is needed and where it should be placed, employers can help to ensure all necessary content is included. As a further way of ensuring the information outlined in a dismissal letter is accurate and agreed upon by all parties, employers may also consider filling in a termination form. The form can list reasons or the main reason why the employment is to end and can be signed by both the employee and their manager. If employers are uncertain on how best to structure termination letters or forms, it is highly advisable that they seek further advice and assistance.

Need expert help with instant dismissals?

Do you need assistance with a summary dismissal letter template? Or do you want to put together an employee termination form? Get in touch with us today: 0800 028 2420.

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