Proper advice saves more than money
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SMART isn’t always a good target
Getting a dismissal wrong can be an expensive business. It can cost you Stress, Money, Aggravation, Repercussions and Time.
- lost sleep worrying about the matter and the outcome however in the right you feel
- colouring your view in all your business dealings even if you are self-confident
- damaging to the relationship with other workers and employees.
- spent on insurance costs or legal fees; win or lose
- paid in an award against you and possibly the claimants costs
- lost from the business while you work on the case.
- at having to deal with the case when there are other calls on your time
- that about the accusations that you have acted wrongly
- Adverse publicity
- Breakdown in general staff relations
- Threat to the businesses financial stability
- lost in working on your business
- spent dealing with the practicalities of the case
Ask us before you act
You can reduce the chances of a claim by taking advice before you dismiss anyone. A few minutes chat with us about an employee problem could stop it getting out of hand. Dismissal should be the last option. Many more problems are caused by employers leaving issues until they are overwhelming and then trying to deal with the matter in a rush.
The staff in most businesses are workers or employees and they have rights. They get some of those rights even before you take them on. For example if you offer a job to a woman who then tells you she is pregnant you can’t withdraw that offer. So don’t assume you can dismiss anyone without any risk.
There are procedures that relate to different reasons for dismissal. Failing to follow the procedure that applies to the relevant reason may well make the dismissal legally unfair. Additionally whatever the reason for the dismissal the employer must meet a reasonable and fair standard of conduct in all the circumstances.
One reason for dismissal which can be fair is misconduct but you need to act fairly and follow the right procedures. This would include the ACAS code on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. An Employment Tribunal will look at this when considering whether a dismissal is fair. ACAS provides further information in its ACAS guide to the code which helps employers understand what to do. Employees also have the legal right to be accompanied by a fellow worker or trade union representative when they attend a disciplinary or grievance hearing.
Whatever the reason for the dismissal take advice before you go too far.
Kirsten Moon – Employment Law Solicitor – Partner