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The Dos and Don'ts of Firing an Employee

When the time comes to fire an employee – whether this is down to their poor performance at work, or an ongoing conflict between them and other employees – then there are many factors that you need to take into consideration.

There are laws in place that offer a certain amount of protection to employees, and if you break any one of these, then you could make yourself liable for some serious legal ramifications.

For this reason, you must be aware of what you should and shouldn’t do when firing an employee. Read on to hear some of the most important dos and don’ts.

Do: Seek Legal Advice

One of the things that you must do when you are thinking about firing an employee is to seek legal advice from your team of employment solicitors. Before beginning the process of dismissing an employee, you need to ensure that you have sufficient legal grounding for your decision, and this can be much harder than you may at first thing.

Experienced employment solicitors will be able to help you put a strategy in place that will facilitate a clean exit for your employee, without leading to further issues down the line.  

Don’t: Forget to Warn Them

You should never just fire someone on the spot without warning – both for your own sake, and for theirs. There are procedures in place for this kind of thing, and a warning can make all the difference.

If your employee is not performing well, you should let them know about your concerns and try to help them improve. If they fail to improve, then you will have a record demonstrating your attempts at avoiding dismissal.

Do: Dismiss Then in Private

You should always make sure to minimise the number of people involved when firing someone. If you do it publicly in front of your entire team, you could find that it goes down so much worse than you had hoped. Organise a face-to-face meeting with the employee, away from prying eyes. The more privacy, the easier it will be to handle.

Don’t: Forget to Explain

You must not forget to explain your justifications for firing someone. If you don’t give a reason, they could find a loophole and get in touch with an employment solicitor, and the situation may end up in the courts. Consider your reasons and try to put arrange them into a concise, inarguable statement. This way, the employee knows exactly what has happened, and you will be able to mitigate a lengthy dispute.

Do: Show Respect

Finally, you should always try to show respect when you are firing an employee, even if it is for their poor performance. Losing one’s job represents one of the most stressful times in a person’s life, and putting any personal feelings aside is incredibly important to ensuring that there are no further issues.

If you are thinking about firing an employee this year, make sure to take on board all of the tips that we have given you in this article. Seek legal advice before taking any steps and this should help you get everything right.
Image: Pixabay

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