Ten tips on how to avoid a claim for unfair dismissal in your workplace

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Ten tips on how to avoid a claim for unfair dismissal in your workplaceAmorys solicitors offer some sage advice to business owners...

  1. Establish Clear Expectations in employment contract i.e. job description, targets, salary, criteria for the awarding of bonuses, salary reviews, etc. It is a legal requirement to have in place a written contract of employment
  2. Address and Record problems as they occur – do not wait until the last minute!
  3. Have a Grievance Procedure in place that will provide employees with a clear roadmap for dealing with any issues
  4. Have a Progressive Disciplinary Policy in place , e.g.                                              Oral -> written warning -> suspension
    Last chance -> Performance Improvement Plan -> Termination
  5. Ensure Policies in line with Practice –employee’s signature on the policy is not proof employer has fair procedures in place.  Policies must be used and acted upon.
  6. Investigate and Examine – do not make any knee-jerk reactions! Only in cases of proven gross misconduct will summary dismissal be considered fair.
  7. Consider if Special Circumstances apply to Employee eg is the employee on sick or maternity leave, pregnant or a whistleblower?
  8. Inform Employee of right to be represented or have someone present at any disciplinary meeting
  9. Document Termination Meeting
  • Who said what
  • During or shortly after
  • Document on the assumption a WRC Adjudicator or judge may be reading same in the future

10. Notify Employee in Writing of all basic reasons for termination as soon as possible after any termination meeting

Article supplied by Deirdre Farrell B.C.L. AITI of Amorys Solicitors Sandyford