What do I do if I want to dismiss an employee for poor performance?

The first thing to be aware of is that you are required to follow employment legislation when dismissing an employee and the best way to do this is to follow the ACAS Code of Conduct for Managing Disciplinary and Grievance in your staff.

If you fail to follow the ACAS Code of conduct you can be taken to employment tribunal by the employee.  Average employment awards for 2010/2011 are as follows

Maximum                               Average

Unfair dismissal                                   £181,754                              £8,924

Race Discrimination                             £62,530                             £12,108

Sex Discrimination                              £289,167                             £13,911

Disability Discrimination                   £181,083                              £14,137

Religious Discrimination                     £20,221                                £8,515

Sexual orientation discrimination     £47,633                               £11,671

Age Discrimination                           £144,100                              £30,289

Costs Awarded in ET cases                £83,000                               £2,830

However, an employee needs 1 full years’ service before they can make a claim against their employer for ‘Unfair Dismissal’, apart from a few exceptional cases.  Examples of such exceptions include where an employee has been dismissed for whistle blowing, discrimination, health and safety. (Note, there is no qualifying length of service for a claim of ‘wrongful dismissal’ or a breach of contract).

How to discipline and dismiss an employee for Performance?

There are 6 fair reasons for dismissal: Conduct, Capability, Illness, Redundancy, and Statutory Restriction, and Another Substantial Reason.

Before dismissing an employee for Performance, they must have been treated fairly in accordance with the ACAS Code of Practice: Discipline and Grievance, which recommends the following actions:

  • Employers and employees should raise and deal with issues promptly and should not unreasonably delay meetings, decisions or confirmation of those decisions.
  • Employers and employees should act consistently.
  • Employers should carry out any necessary investigations, to establish the facts of the case.
  • Employers should inform employees of the basis of the problem and give them an opportunity to put their case in response before any decisions are made.
  • Employers should allow employees to be accompanied at any formal disciplinary or grievance meeting.
  • Employers should allow an employee to appeal against any formal decision made.

Use a Disciplinary Procedure that applies the ACAS Code of Practice?

The best way to therefore manage the underperformance of the employee is to use an ACAS compliant disciplinary procedure and adhere to the guidelines closely. You can purchase one below.

It is assumed that you will take advice from a qualified HR professional or employment specialist before using this document.


To purchase this ACAS Compliant Disciplinary Procedure, click on the buy now button below. You can pay using paypal or a creditcard. You can download this contract from our download area immediately after purchase.The document is in word format.

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This document is a Disciplinary Policy which has been designed to comply with the ACAS code. This document will enable employers to deal with employee misconduct, under performance and grievances. By law you are required to follow statutory minimum procedures when handling grievances and disciplinaries. It is suitable for all types and size of employer.

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