Decision making process in workplaces is one of the most challenging with employers in the position which requires them to be not only responsible but also ethical. Ethics is especially important when it comes to dismissals. Depending on the reason for dismissal, the decision may be more or less difficult, with the risk of unfair dismissal claims. That is where the need for careful decision-making arises, to avoid potential legal consequences. What is unfair dismissal, and how can employers steer clear of discriminatory dismissal claims?
What is unfair dismissal?
In the context of employment law, unfair dismissal occurs when an employer terminates an employee’s contract in a manner that seems unjust, unreasonable, or discriminatory. The need to understand the legal frameworks related to unfair dismissal is crucial for employers to prevent them from making unethical decisions.
When is dismissal concerned fair?
There are several reasons which cannot be claimed by an employee to be unfair. The first of them is poor performance, with employees failing to meet performance expectations and the requirements of the employer. Yet, the argument cannot be used when employers don’t give their clear expectations, regular feedback, or reasonable opportunities for improvement before taking the final step.
Employee’s misconduct, such as dishonesty or harassment can also justify dismissal. It cannot happen though without thorough investigations, with the care of procedural fairness and before making the decision of termination of the contract, it may be advisable to consider disciplinary measures.
One of the most common reasons for dismissal is redundancy, due to company’s restructuring or the closure of a business unit. It’s important to remember about fair selection criteria, consultation with employees, and offering suitable alternatives or compensation.
It may also occur that an employee cannot meet legal requirements, such as the right to work documentation or professional qualifications. However, employers should comply with employment law and provide employees with opportunities to solve the issue.
Unfair dismissal and how to prevent it
There are some reasonable situations when dismissal cannot be avoided, but it’s also necessary to consider other aspects which may lead to unfair dismissal claims. To make sure your decisions are only fair and well-thought, without the sign of discrimination, it’s advisable to consult an expert of employment law, Charles Russell Speechlys. Their knowledge and expertise can guide you through any, even most difficult cases.
First of all, when employers don’t adhere to fair and transparent procedures during the dismissal process, which means lack of thorough investigation, or the opportunity for an employee to respond to the criticism.
Each time, a dismissal decision should not be treated as another common case to handle, but it’s necessary to consider the individual circumstances of each employee, including their length of service, performance history, and personal circumstances. Without the response of the personal circumstance, an employer may expect a claim of unfair treatment. Discrimination is the behaviour which is strictly forbidden, and mustn’t take place. It’s connected with a dismissal induced by age, gender, race, or disability of an employee.