One of the most unpleasant responsibilities that supervisors face is having to terminate employment of their staff.
Furthermore, the United Kingdom has enacted dismissal laws that must be strictly followed to prevent lawsuits of any kind. Should you need to dismiss one of your team members, we are providing the process of dismissal in the UK, according to The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), which is a Crown non-departmental public body of the Government of the United Kingdom.
Prepare an Employee Handbook – The first step a supervisor needs to take is to compile a written handbook with all the rules and regulations of the company. This employee handbook should be given out to all new employees on the first day of the job. Aside from other rules, it needs to contain terms of employment; any repercussions for violations of the terms, such as dock of pay or suspension from work for a certain period of time; as well as grounds for dismissal from the post.
Try to Work it Out Informally – Termination of employment should always be the last resort. It is important to try to work out any situation with an employee before you choose to dismiss him or her. Take the time to sit down with your staff member and go over any issues you may have. Provide regular feedback so the employee knows if he or she is doing better. Chances are, with your involvement, the problem will fix itself.
Set A Formal Disciplinary Meeting – If trying to intervene into the employee’s misconduct or failure to do the job properly doesn’t work, set a formal disciplinary meeting. Notify the team member of the meeting and the problem, and allow him or her to bring someone to the said meeting, such as another colleague or a trade union representative. Provide a warning letter, which will “set out the nature of the misconduct or poor performance and the change in behaviour or improvement in performance required (with timescale).” The letter should state that dismissal would be imiment if the problem doesn’t get solved.
Dismiss – If the informal and formal meetings still did not resolve the issues, you then have the right to dismiss the employee. Make sure to provide the employee with the reason for the termination, along with the steps you have taken to prevent it from happening. Consider providing the individuals with a severance package to help them get by financially before finding another post.
Although the process for dismissal is not legally enforceable, if a former employee feels that he or she was unfairly dismissed, that person can take the case to an employee tribunal, who will likely consult the ACAS code when making its decision. Therefore, it is advisable to follow the process presented in this article to prove that the dismissal was fair.
Senior Trainer & Consultant
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