Different Types Of Dismissal To Know And Understand

Dismissal is a term used to describe termination of an employee. Similarly to almost every other issue within business, dismissal is by no means a black and white. There are plenty of grey areas. Its an option that should very much be a last resort to employers but with various types ofdismissal comes various different procedures to follow. The following information breaks down and explains each type of dismissal. In doing so, we’ve made it easier for both employers and employees to understand their options when it comes to dismissal.

Fair Dismissal

Let’s start with the easiest of the lot - fair dismissal. This is when the employer’s reasons for dismissal can be completely justified and are supported by evidence. Reasons for this kind of dismissal may relate to an employee’s conduct or capability within their role - two of the most common reasons for dismissal within a business.

In the instance of fair dismissal, there should be little room for protest from the employee as the employer will have carried out the dismissal process in a fair, reasonable and justified matter.

Constructive Dismissal

When an employee feels it’s necessary for them to leave their job, either due to being “pushed out” or as a result of the employer substantially breaching their contract, this is whereconstructive dismissal comes into play.

Examples of breaching a contract may include:-

  • Reducing wages without agreement
  • Unlawfully demoting employee
  • Harassment, discrimination or bullying going on within the workplace
  • Unfairly increasing their workload

Constructive dismissal can be difficult to prove. Having your salary stopped is a clear cut reason that would hold up as a strong case within an Employment Tribunal whereas allegations of bullying or discrimination may be difficult to prove as the evidence is open to interpretation.

Employees should be aware that taking an approach to “ride it out” may be argued by the employer as a form of the employee accepting the way things are.

Voluntary Redundancy

If employees are aware that the company is making redundancies, they may volunteer themselves. Should this be the case for dismissal they cannot challenge this should they change their mind at a later stage.

You have no legal obligation to choose to make those who have volunteered redundant.

Unfair Dismissal

Situations where an employee hasn’t been informed of a sufficient reason for dismissal or the employer hasn’t followed their own policy regarding dismissals, fall under the category of unfair dismissal.

Common triggers of unfair dismissal include:-

  • Employee requested flexible working
  • Employee joined a trade union
  • Employee took part in legal industrial action that lasted 12 weeks or less
  • Employee needed time off for jury service
  • Employee applied for maternity, paternity or adoption leave
  • Employee was on any maternal, paternal or adoption leave that they were entitled to
  • Employee exposed wrongdoing in the workplace (whistleblowing)
  • Employee was forced to retire

In certain situations, including those listed above, an employee may take legal action in pursuit of unfair dismissal. This is why it’s imperative that you follow all correct procedures both during the decision making process for dismissal and while carrying out dismissal of an employee.

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