WHEN IS A DISMISSAL FAIR?

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Employment lawyers are frequently asked to (0) employers on the law regarding unfair dismissal. The major concern in this area of law is identifying precisely when dismissal from a job is regarded as either fair or unfair. Employers are keen to avoid any claim by an employee that he or she has been dismissed unfairly, as this can prove costly to the employer. Those costs include not only the expense of (1) any claim before it comes to a tribunal, or, alternatively, the payment of a fine if found guilty of unfair dismissal, but also the possible (2) to an employer’s reputation in the event that the details of the claim brought against it become public.

There are many ways in which an employee’s contract of employment might be terminated. Apart from situations where there is no breach of the terms and (3) contained in the contract of employment, for example termination by mutual agreement, one of the most common causes of termination is where an employer dismisses an employee. In this situation, it is important that both parties understand the types of dismissal that are considered to be fair under the law.

One example of fair dismissal is where an employer dismisses an employee because of his or her (4) meaning bad behaviour, at work. Examples of this might be frequent absences from work without any valid reason, theft or dishonesty. However, if this situation arises, it is essential that an employer follows a fair disciplinary. (5) before dismissing an employee. This may include oral warnings, written warnings and the right to have a meeting with the employer to discuss the situation.

Another example of fair dismissal is where an employer considers that an employee is incapable of carrying out his or her duties to the required standard. However, the employer must be able to demonstrate that it has given the employee adequate training. The employer must also show that it has warned the employee that his or her work is unsatisfactory and given him or her the opportunity to improve before any action is (6) .

Fair dismissal is also common in a situation where an employer no longer has sufficient work for an employee and has no alternative other than to make that employee (7) . In this situation, however, the employer has considerable responsibilities to the employee under the law, which include the requirement to make a statutory payment if the (8) of the employee’s contract, meaning the duration that the employee has worked for the employer, requires it.

One area of employment law which is currently undergoing extensive changes is that relating to (9) in other words the point at which an employee stops working completely because he or she has reached a specified age. Employers need to be fully up to-date with the new rules, which are the work of Parliament and are therefore contained in (10) rather than in the common law, so as to avoid any costly mistakes.