Dismissing staff

Last updated: 16 May 2017

Dismissals on capability or conduct grounds

An employee can be dismissed if:

  • they're incapable of doing their job to the required standard
  • they're capable, but unwilling to do their job properly
  • they've committed some form of misconduct

If you want to dismiss someone, you must make sure you do it fairly. You'll need to follow disciplinary procedures first.

If a capability issue is linked to someone's health, you should try as many ways as possible to help them do their job (eg with reasonable adjustments) before dismissing them.

Disciplinary procedures

Employees have the right to be accompanied to all disciplinary meetings and to appeal to a manager.

To make sure the dismissal is fair, follow these steps:

  1. Arrange a meeting with the employee, telling them the reason for it.
  2. At the meeting, tell them how you expect them to improve and over what period - warn them that if their performance doesn't improve enough, you'll give them a first written warning.
  3. Hold a second meeting if their performance hasn't improved enough by the deadline - give them a chance to explain and issue a first written warning if you're not satisfied with their reasons.
  4. Draw up an action plan with timescales for improvement.
  5. Hold a third meeting if their performance still hasn't improved enough by the deadlines - set targets, warn that you'll consider dismissal if there's no improvement and issue a final written warning.
  6. If the employee's performance is still not up to standard by the third deadline, arrange a full disciplinary hearing.
  7. After the hearing - or appeal if there is one - decide whether to give the employee a further chance to improve, or dismiss them.

You must inform the employee of your final decision whatever the outcome.

Keep notes of all meetings and give copies to the employee.

Dismissing staff
Dismissals on capability or conduct grounds