You feel confident that you have recruited a suitable person for a position within your business. This person commences employment with you. Yet, in their first week, even on their first day, they show signs of unsuitability for the role whether it be performance and/ or conduct issues. However, you’ve only recently appointed them, they’ve only been with the business one week or even just one day. Can you dismiss this early into the employment and, if so, what are the risks?
The short answer is yes. Although best practice would ask that you be prudent in taking such a cautious approach.
We have had several clients who have taken this approach with success.
Legally, you can dismiss a member of staff without the need to demonstrate a fair reason for the dismissal. This employer entitlement commences from day one and up to two years into employment. As an employer, you may think a new appointee is not the right fit for your business, amongst also realising there are likely to be capability and/or conduct issues. You will not be required to establish a fair disciplinary or dismissal procedure. For an employee starting employment and with less than two years of employment service, their contract of employment can be lawfully terminated without further investigation or prior warning. For those employees who have worked for less than one month, unless otherwise stated in the contract of employment, you are not required to provide statutory notice. However, once there has been continuous employment for more than one month but less than two years, are you required to give one week’s notice.
However, the potential legal pitfalls remain ever present when deciding to adopt this short-service dismissal.
The main pitfalls to be aware of when dismissing an employee with notably less than two years’ employment service include automatically unfair dismissal, discrimination, and breach of contract.
While it may be entirely appropriate to dismiss an employee who has recently commenced employment with you or even circumvent any kind of dismissal procedure, it is always best to exercise caution. Doing so will allow you to mitigate any risk of legal proceedings against you.
If in doubt about your employment needs and/or requirements or if you just want to know more, do not hesitate to contact us here at Lawgistics.
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