Before taking any action, managers should first establish the facts and before considering dismissal, managers should also see if a more positive approach is likely to be effective.
Poor performance may be a result of inadequate leadership, bad management or defective systems of work and, if so, remedies (often involving learning and development) can be put in place.
Many cases of misconduct and poor performance can be dealt with by informal advice, coaching and counselling. Improvements can often be achieved through continuing feedback and joint discussion between individuals and their managers to identify the problem, establish the reasons for under-performance and agree the action to be taken.
If all this fails, disciplinary action – possibly including dismissal – may need to be taken.
Dismissal of an employee occurs when:
- the employer terminates the contract, either with or without giving notice
- a fixed term contract ends and is not renewed
- the employee leaves, with or without giving notice, in circumstances in which they are entitled to do so because of the employer’s conduct
- According to ACAS, among the commonest reasons for dismissal are misconduct, inability to do the job and redundancy
A dismissal will normally be ‘fair’ provided the employer has a good reason for the dismissal, has followed a fair procedure, followed its own disciplinary procedure and has acted ‘reasonably’ in carrying it out.