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Procedure for Fair Dismissal

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Every employee has the right not to be unfairly dismissed. Whether or not a dismissal is fair is determined by the facts of the case and the appropriateness of dismissal as a penalty. It will also depend on whether procedure was followed.

Before dismissing a person, efforts should be made to correct the employee’s behaviour through gradual disciplinary measures such as counselling and warnings.

Generally, it is not appropriate to dismiss a worker for a first offence, except if the misconduct is serious (e.g., assault) and of such gravity that it makes a continued working relationship intolerable. The employer should consider the employee's circumstances (including their length of service, previous disciplinary record and personal circumstances), the nature of the job, and the circumstances of the infringement, before deciding to impose dismissal as a penalty.

The penalty of dismissal should be applied consistently to everyone in the same circumstances at all times.

Contents

[edit] Warnings

If performance is still poor after a reasonable period of time, the employer should tell the employee at a meeting (at which the employee is allowed to have a representative) that the expected standard has still not been met and that the matter is so serious that the employee may be dismissed for poor work performance. The employee must be given a chance to respond to this warning.

If the appropriate manager thinks it is necessary, the employee may then be issued with a written warning. The warning must briefly describe why the employee’s performance is considered unsatisfactory, the steps management has already taken to bring this to the employee’s attention, and the steps that should be taken to remedy the situation. A reasonable time period must be specified within which to do so.

[edit] Final written warning

If the employee still does not achieve the required standard within a reasonable period of time, the appropriate manager must hold a further meeting with the employee. (The employee is allowed representation.) If it is necessary, the manager may then issue a further written warning or a final written warning. A final written warning must indicate that if the employee does not achieve the required standard, he or she will be dismissed. Alternatively, the appropriate manager may convene a ‘poor performance’ hearing.

[edit] ‘Poor performance’ hearing

A hearing for poor performance must be held if action stronger than a written warning is needed. This hearing must be convened and conducted in the same manner as a disciplinary hearing. The object of this hearing is to determine whether the employee failed to meet a performance standard, and whether it is reasonable to expect them to meet this performance standard.

[edit] Dismissal

If an employee is found to have failed to meet a reasonable performance standard, the chairperson must consider whether there is any action, other than dismissal, that can remedy the situation. If not, the employee may be dismissed with notice.

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