Can I Just Dismiss an Employee Even If There Have Been No Previous Disciplinary Issues?

Can I Just Dismiss an Employee Even If There Have Been No Previous Disciplinary Issues?

At Quest Consulting Services, this question is one of our top 5 most frequently asked questions; we are always surprised at the amount of confusion surrounding this matter.

Simply put, no, if you have a permanent employee with no disciplinary record, you cannot dismiss them unless their offence amounts to Gross Misconduct or Gross Negligence. To do so would constitute unfair dismissal, where the employee has not been given the chance to improve their performance or conduct. If you unfairly dismiss an employee in this way, they have legal grounds to take you to court and you may find yourself on the losing side of an employment tribunal.

However, if your employee is still in their probationary period, you may dismiss them by serving their notice, provided you have a valid reason for dismissing them.

To avoid an unfair dismissal, you should have a disciplinary procedure that is fully integrated into your company policy. This should detail what your organisation considers to be Gross Misconduct, misconduct and capability issues, as well as what disciplinary actions an employee can expect at each stage of the process. When an employee with a clear record commits an offence, this should trigger the commencement of the disciplinary procedure rather than a dismissal. For more information on what a disciplinary procedure involves, read our blog ‘What is the Disciplinary Process’.

If you’re struggling with an issue, or just want peace of mind, why not attend our Disciplinary Workshop? Tickets are available here.

For a free review of your disciplinary process or for help on implementing one, call Jonny on 0844 8797286.

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Northern Accountants

Sarah and the team at Quest have provided us HR support since January 2013.

Quest Consulting Services provided us with a comprehensive employment structure with contacts and a handbook and have been on hand to help me deal with the occasional issue I have faced with team members through their telephone support service.

As our personal Consultant, Sarah provides a quality, professional and complete service which is great value for money.

Northern Accountants

Off Limits Corporate Events

Sarah has transformed our HR and has introduced systems that have taken lots of hassle away from staffing issues within our company.

We have worked with Sarah and her team for 5 years and in this time our business has grown considerably. With telephone support available for all our Managers as they need it plus Sarah and her team proactively keeping us updated on changes in legislation we are reassured that we are in safe hands.

The HR software that Quest implemented also helps us keep on top of the routine aspects of HR such as holiday bookings, recording absence, holding personnel records which then allows Sarah and her team easy access to give us relevant advice.

Our Managers have also benefited from workshops run by Sarah to help develop their skills on handling issues such as disciplinary, appraisals, recruitment etc….

The support of Quest is invaluable and provides a much more cost effective solution than employing a HR Manager in house.

Off Limits Corporate Events

10 Associates

Why would anybody NOT have Sarah working 'alongside' their business?

I've known Sarah for many years and she's always been there for me and the business when her wealth of knowledge has been called upon.

We have used Sarah and her team to handle our contracts, handbook and Health & Safety and they are readily available on the telephone when needed or on site at our premises.

Highly recommended.

10 Associates

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