Getting Dismissal Right

One of the things that would often frustrate me when I was working corporately was the office politics. It added extra complexity to tasks and meant that things were often not straight forward.

I’ve found myself between a rock and a hard place on many occasions! I used to report into a CEO of a client’s company, but I also reported into the HR Director of the parent company. Their directives often clashed and I was never sure who would win each battle!

One of the things they often clashed about was the dismissal process and how many chances were given before an employee was exited from the business. The issues wasn’t the number of times but that we were being consistent and ensuring that all individuals were treated equally and having a robust process that could be defend at Employment Tribunal if necessary.

Dismissal is a very serious sanction. It is a decision that should always be well thought out, which can be difficult if someone has done something potentially damaging to your business baby.

There are two different types of dismissal:


This is used when an individual has gone through the disciplinary process several times for the same types of infractions; and so has gone through written warnings to a final written warning and then onto dismissal. You should have complete documentation for the process and the individual would be dismissed subject to their normal notice period (which you can pay out or have them work).

Summary Dismissal

If dismissal for a Gross Misconduct incident, e.g. Stealing, Fighting, Sharing confidential information, it would commence immediately and no notice pay would need to be paid.

If you are considering dismissal for a one off incident, I would suggest suspending the individual while you investigate the incident and ensuring that you are fully aware of the whole situation before you come to a decision. If the situation isn’t clear cut, I always suggest taking professional HR advice.

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