When an employee commits gross misconduct, an employer can terminate the employee with no notice period or payment. We call this summary dismissal.
When an employee receives an instant dismissal, you’ll need to provide them with a contract termination letter explaining the reasons for your decision.
This is an important document to write. In this guide, we’ll take you through what to include in your letter to avoid breaking any employment laws. If you do not follow the proper procedure, employment tribunals can deem your dismissal unfair.
Gross misconduct termination
If you decide to summarily dismiss an employee, you have to follow a fair disciplinary procedure.
Remember that, legally, employees can bring a claim for unfair dismissal. This is if there are any procedural flaws identified throughout the dismissal process.
If you have followed a fair process, you can begin the termination process. This involves informing the employee. As it is a summary dismissal, they will leave the business immediately and receive no payment in lieu of notice.
The Acas Code of Practice says you should give employees the right to appeal a disciplinary or grievance outcome.
If you don’t give the opportunity to appeal, they could count this against you if the case goes to an employment tribunal.
Employee dismissal letter for gross misconduct
A significant part of a fair process is ensuring that you send the correct paperwork out to employees.
This incorporates invitations to investigation and disciplinary hearings and, ultimately, a letter of dismissal.
It’s important that you properly construct dismissal letters, as it can help to avoid misinterpretations or disputes at a later date.
You should remember the contents of a dismissal letter will be scrutinised by an employment tribunal if they make a claim. So ensure it’s clear, succinct, and includes all relevant information needed to show your thought process behind the decision.
What to include in the letter
Strong letters will clearly state that the individual’s employment is to end and will include the reasons their behaviour has resulted in their termination.
You must clearly state the date on which employment is to end.
The letter should conclude by stating that the employee has a right to appeal against this decision, alongside the persons to contact regarding this, and how long they have to pursue this option.
This letter covers
- The reason for the dismissal.
- The legal basis for gross misconduct.
- Prior warnings (if any.)
- The termination date and ineligibility for notice or a payment in lieu of notice (PILON.)
- Arrangements for holiday pay and last salary payment.
- The need to return property.
- The right to appeal against the dismissal.
By using a pre-constructed template that highlights what information is needed and where it should be placed, employers can help to ensure all necessary content is included.
As a further way of ensuring the information outlined in a dismissal letter is accurate and agreed upon by all parties, employers may also consider filling in a termination form.
The form can list reasons or the primary reason the employment is to end and can be signed by both the employee and their manager.
Expert support on dismissals with Croner
If employers are uncertain on how best to structure termination letters or forms, it is highly advisable that they seek further advice and assistance.
Our experienced employment law and HR advisors can help you navigate this difficult subject. With expert advice, you can be sure you are making the right decision.
Our experts provide free help, support, and advice tailored to your requirements. Call us for free today on 01455 858 132
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