Dismissing an Employee

The Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2001 govern unfair dismals here in Ireland. There are two integral standards that should be noted: 

1.       An employer must always have substantial grounds for the dismissal of an employee.

2.       Fair procedures and processes must be followed in the lead up to dismissal.

Unfair Dismissals Claims Solicitor Cork

In order for the Unfair Dismissals Act to take effect, the employee must have been in continuous employment for a minimum of 52 weeks prior to dismissal. The employee must not have reached the recognised age of retirement for the specific role in question.

Automatic unfair reasons for dismissal include but are not limited to:

•    Engagement in trade union activities, membership of a trade union or proposed membership.

•    In the event that the employee is a party or a witness to legal proceedings against the employer.

•    For reasons of race, colour, creed, sexual orientation, age or membership of the travelling community.

•    Reasons relating to maternity, including but not limited to: pregnancy, breastfeeding, giving birth.

•    The employee availing of their rights under Irish legislation such as maternity leave, parental leave, force majeure leave, adoptive leave or carer’s leave.

•    Unfair redundancy selection.

Employee Dismissal Advice Ireland

 In order to dismiss an employee fairly and legally, a combination of one of five statutory reasons is required. It will also be necessary to follow a fair and reasonable dismissal procedure. The five potential statutory reasons are listed below:

 3.       Conduct or behaviour that is unacceptable or harmful.

4.       Capability to perform duties as set out in workplace contract of employment.

5.       Redundancy, where the employee has been fairly selected.

6.       Breach of statutory restrictions.

7.       A reason that is substantial and fair.

 In most instances prior to a dismissal, a disciplinary hearing should be arranged. During the hearing the employee will be given an opportunity to put forward their version of events that have led to these circumstances. The employee in question will also be given the opportunity to challenge any evidence put forward by the employer. An employee has a right to have a colleague or trade union representative present for the duration of the disciplinary hearing. This representative has the right to ask questions on behalf of the employee throughout proceedings.

 It is important to note that an employee can not be dismissed upon the first offence, the only exceptions to this rule are if a gross misconduct has been committed.

 Unfair Dismissal Solicitors, Cork and Dublin

 Where underperformance is the reason for dismissal, the employee should always be given the opportunity to make the relevant improvements and should be provided with a warning in advance. Dismissal proceedings should always include an informal and formal warning prior to final dismissal. The employee should also be given the opportunity to refute any claims put forward and appeal any warnings/letters of dismissal.

 In order to protect both employees and employers it is advised that strong business disciplinary procedures are in place. Where there is a question about unfair dismissal, business disciplinary procedures will play a large role in determining the outcome of any claims. Employers should always seek legal advice prior to dismissing an employee.

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