1) We have an apprentice who isn’t meeting our expectations. Can we terminate their employment?
A poor-performing apprentice’s employment can be brought to an end but employers should always seek advice before attempting to do so. This is because the apprentice could sue for the remainder of the term of the apprenticeship and for compensation for future loss of earnings on the basis that it will be more difficult for them to find work as the training has not been completed.
2) One of our stylists isn’t bringing in enough repeat business can we make them redundant?
In order to make an employee redundant there should be a business closure, or if particular work stops or decreases, or is expected to do so. If there is a temporary or permanent decline in business, the employer will have to provide evidence of this before they make any redundancies. Even where this is the case, it is not as simple as selecting the stylist who doesn’t appear to bring in repeat business.
Instead you will need to follow a full and fair redundancy procedure which includes a transparent and non-discriminatory selection process and fulfils the legal requirements to ensure that affected employee(s) are not subjected to an unfair process.
3) Are we obliged to agree a flexible working request for someone who is returning from maternity leave?
All employees are entitled to request flexible working, and the employer is then obliged to give that request serious consideration. However if there are business reasons that you cannot accommodate the request then you can refuse the request.