What Do I do if I Want to Dismiss an Employee for Poor Performance?

Last updated on October 27th, 2017 at 11:23 am

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 tribunal awards for 2015/2016 are as follows

                                                              Maximum                    Average

Unfair dismissal                                   £470,865                              £13,851

Race Discrimination                             £43,735                             £14,185

Sex Discrimination                              £1,726,130                          £85,622

Disability Discrimination                   £257,127                              £21,729

Religious Discrimination                     £45,490                              £19,647

Sexual orientation discrimination     £20,192                               £20.192

Age Discrimination                            £16,263                                   £9,025

However, an employee needs 2  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 find a disciplinary policy in this employee handbook, which can be purchased on this website.



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