As an employer, you have many responsibilities and liabilities and you can’t simply fire an employee, even if it seems justified in your eyes; there are labour laws, rules and regulations that state the precise process for disciplining employees, including dismissal. Failing to follow the correct protocol when employee termination occurs could land you in a lot of trouble, which might involve having to pay a lot of compensation.
Here are the essential steps that you should take prior to terminating an employee.
- Keeping Records – It is vital that you have records of all incidents, no matter how minor; this is a job for a local HR agency, an organisation with a team of HR specialists who can put an effective recording system in place to ensure you have records of everything. If, for example, you had an informal chat with a worker about their performance, you should make notes about what was said, which could be used at a later date, in the event of a conflict.
- Be A Good Communicator – It might just be that the employee is having personal issues; maybe their relationship is on the rocks, or they are heavily in debt. You should make the effort to communicate with the worker to discover the cause of the issue and this might lead to a resolution. Make notes about any dialogue sessions and termination should really be a last resort.
- Issue Warnings – If you enlist the help of an HR agency, you can use their 24 hr employment law helpline, which you can call at any time and find out where you stand legally. This is something you should do before taking any action or responding, just to be on the safe side. A warning can be verbal or written and you should obviously record that the warning was issued and when.
- Create An Employee Improvement Plan (EIP) – This is a great way to address an employee issue; you put together a plan of action that addresses the issue(s). The plan should be written in such a way that the employee fully understands the content and signing off to that effect. This method is usually successful and progress (or lack of), should be recorded in a file.
- Giving The Employee Notification Of Termination Of Employment – If all avenues have been tried and nothing works, you have little choice but to terminate the employment contract; it is imperative that the management have acted according to the labour laws and your HR partner’s helpline is always available. In the event the employee claims unfair dismissal, the fact that you have kept records of all communication will ensure that the outcome will be in your favour.
Every employer should have access to labour law specialists in order to receive the very best advice when wishing to terminate a worker. Indeed, a leading HR agency can handle all of your HR needs, including payroll, leave and staff training.