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5 tips to avoid an unfair dismissal claim

Unfair dismissal claims, remain to be the most common types of claims pursued in Employment Tribunals (ET), so here are 5 tips to ensure that any dismissal is fair: 

1. Always follow the ACAS Code relating to disciplinary procedures which requires you: 

• Carry out a careful and fair investigation of the issues;

• Inform your employee of the issues of concern in writing setting out a date for a disciplinary hearing and informing them of their right to be accompanied;

• Conduct a disciplinary hearing, ensure minutes are taken and agreed;

• Allow your employee a reasonable opportunity to ask questions, present evidence and call witnesses (if appropriate);

• Inform your employee, in writing, of the disciplinary outcome and provide them with the opportunity to appeal within a reasonable time frame; and

• Provide the employee with a fair appeal hearing, following the principles outlined above, and ensuring that the matter is heard by an independent person.

2. Allow employees to engage in the disciplinary process and use your latitude when dealing with employees where English is not their first language.  

3. Make sure the final sanction would be regarded as falling within the range of reasonable responses by a reasonable employer based on the evidence before them. 

4. Ensure the final sanction falls within one of the following, fair reasons for dismissal:

• Capability;

• Conduct;

• Redundancy;

• Legality; and

• Some other substantial reason (this can amount to a number of things).

5. Consider whether your conduct could amount to a breach of contract and/or implied duty of trust and confidence allowing your employee to resign and claim constructive unfair dismissal.

As always if I can provide you with any further assistance with handling disciplinary procedures, please do not hesitate to contact me for a free consultation on 0113 350 4030 or at samira.cakali@scesolicitors.co.uk.

Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

Samira Cakali

Samira Cakali is a pragmatic and approachable solicitor advocate with extensive contentious and non-contentious experience in the fields of employment law as well as civil litigation, within a range of commercial businesses from SME’s to multinationals as well as senior executives.

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