Crash Course: The fair way to sack someone

Crash Course: The fair way to sack someone - Johnson has got to go. His work is second-rate, he's always hung over in the morning, and he's a disruptive influence. Worse, he's not With the Programme; he's got that annoying smile that lets everyone know he

by ALEXANDER GARRETT

Johnson has got to go. His work is second-rate, he's always hung over in the morning, and he's a disruptive influence. Worse, he's not With the Programme; he's got that annoying smile that lets everyone know he thinks your strategic plan is balls. But how to get rid of him without ending up on the wrong side of an employment tribunal? Is it better to nail him for misbehaviour, tell him he doesn't cut the mustard, or just make him redundo?

CONSIDER YOUR GROUNDS. Disliking somebody is not grounds for firing them.

There are five acceptable reasons for dismissing an employee: misconduct; capability or performance (including absenteeism); redundancy; breach of statutory obligations (eg, a driver losing their licence); and 'some other substantial reason', such as your main customer demanding the person's removal. 'If it comes before a tribunal, the employer always has to go first and specify the reasons for dismissal,' says Michael Burd, a partner in the employment department at solicitors Lewis Silkin.

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