• Employment
  • January 12, 2022

How To Legally Dismiss An Employee

Dismissing an employee is one of the hardest tasks an SME owner must face. Not only is the situation often emotionally charged on both sides, but the process of firing an employee must also be done correctly to ensure a claim of unfair dismissal and/or discrimination is not brought against you. Fortunately, by investing in the advice of an experienced Employment Law Solicitor you can protect yourself from stressful and expensive Employment Tribunal claims.

How do I dismiss an employee lawfully?

To legally dismiss an employee you must ensure:

There are five fair reasons for dismissing an employee, namely:

  • capability or qualifications
  • conduct
  • redundancy
  • breach of statutory duty or restriction 
  • some other substantial reason (SOSR). Common examples of SOSR include personality clashes, a breakdown in trust and confidence, and business reorganisation.

Dismissing an employee for any other reason will be deemed unfair by the Employment Tribunal.

Employment law states that you must act reasonably when dismissing an employee and follow a fair process. To protect yourself ensure you:

  1. Establish a fair reason for the dismissal
  2. Conduct a thorough and fair investigation into the incident/s that led to the decision to dismiss the employee
  3. Follow the dismissal procedure set out in your employment contract and, in the case of misconduct or poor performance, the Acas Code of Practice.
  4. Keep the employee informed throughout the process and allow them to bring a representative to any meetings
  5. Allow the opportunity for the employee to improve their performance or explain their conduct
  6. Always provide an opportunity to appeal the dismissal decision
  7. Keep meticulous records of all steps, meetings, and communications
  8. Comply with the notice period set out in the employment contract

Final words

The dismissal process can be challenging. It is important, however, for the sake of your brand’s reputation and your other employees, that you follow a fair process when dismissing someone and always act in a professional manner. 

Get legal assistance from LawBite

Taking legal advice from an Employment Law Solicitor will ensure you get through this difficult time with your reputation and peace of mind intact during this formal procedure.

Additional useful information

In closing

Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice on which you should rely. The article is provided for general information purposes only. Professional legal advice should always be sought before taking any action relating to or relying on the content of this article. Our Platform Terms of Use apply to this article.

Related Articles

Read more of our latest blog posts, featuring all the latest legal news, analysis and opinion from our expert lawyers.

blog image
  • By Lawbite Team
  • January 12, 2022
An employer’s quick guide to sick pay

When running an SME the question of whether or not an employee has a right to sick pay and how much sick pay they are entitled to can be confusing....

blog image
  • By Lawbite Team
  • January 12, 2022
What can you do about long-term sickness?

Having an employee off work on long-term sickness absence can be challenging, especially for small businesses with smaller teams requiring speciali...

blog image
  • By Lawbite Team
  • January 11, 2022
Employer's guide to managing sickness absence

The first Monday in February has been coined National Sickie Day in the UK. This is because statistically, it is the most popular time of the year ...


LawBite can help you

LawBite is on a mission to provide business legal advice that is easier to access, clearer to understand and much cheaper. Our on-line legal advice platform can quickly connect you with expert business legal advice. Our friendly, highly qualified business lawyers, solicitors and mediators will give you the guidance and reassurance that comes from customised legal advice for small and medium sized business.

Whether you are bringing or defending a legal claim, outsourcing work, want a business contract review to ward off disagreements, talk to an expert trademark lawyer, resolve a contractual dispute with methods like mediation and arbitration, or getting your new company set up and on the right footing with a robust shareholder agreement and GDPR standards, we can help you succeed.

defend a claim

Get Quote

defend a claim

Essentials Plan

Join for Free