An “easier” way to dismiss an employee

In reality, dismissing any employee is never easy and business owners and managers often lose sleep over it. Sometimes the need to dismiss arises from an incompatibility between employer and employee: mis-understood expectations, a conflict of values or just poor “chemistry”. The employee may well perform much better with another employer but no-one wants to make the first move.

“Settlement agreements” have been around for over 18 months now and they can be overlooked as a means of resolving this typical dilemma. It starts with a “protected conversation” at which an employer can broach issues such as “this doesn’t seem to be working” without the employer leaving themselves open to a subsequent constructive dismissal claim at Tribunal. Helpfully, there is no need for there to be any prior dispute before opening such a conversation and, provided there is no duress or implication of unlawful discrimination, the discussion can be reasonably free and frank. There are one or two other “boxes to be ticked” to be sure of the protection, but it provides for a realistic and fair opportunity for a parting of the ways. The employee must take legal advice before signing any agreement (usually a financial one) that arises, so he or she is also “protected”.

There is very considerable merit in exploring other means of resolving performance issues first but there is now a port of last resort.

Even so, before you set up a protected conversation be sure to take appropriate advice, such  as from Employer Solutions, so that you do it in the right way and are sure to be fully protected..

 

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