Can you Dismiss Instantly?

27 May 2015

A member of the public was passing a crop field in Lincolnshire when, just metres from one of the portable toilets, they spotted a crop worker “watering the crops”! The aghast onlooker proceeded to photograph the offending behaviour and forwarded this to the farm managers, along with an observation that the “disgusting” behaviour “ought to be stopped”.

This incident was picked up by the media, who subsequently reported that the worker had been “sacked with immediate effect”. This may, on the face of it, seem like a quick and easy resolution to a matter for an employer… but should instant dismissal ever be viewed as a potential option?

The answer is an emphatic ‘no’! A fair and reasonable procedure must be followed in all disciplinary cases. Even where the dismissal may be for an obviously fair reason, the tribunal could make an award in the employee’s favour if the dismissal is procedurally unfair. In addition, short-service employees who do not have a right to bring a claim at tribunal for unfair dismissal may be able to bring a claim for automatic unfair dismissal and/or discrimination – therefore, be aware that regardless of length of service this may not be a safe option.

Dismissing an employee ‘on the spot’ puts the employer in a potentially vulnerable situation that could end up being extremely costly. Do not allow yourself to be caught out! Ensure that you have a procedure in place and that you adhere to it. Alpha can help. Should you require any guidance with your disciplinary processes, please feel free to contact us.


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    Eurofilms Extrusion Ltd

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    J Conry, Chairman - JPC Cleaning

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Martin Kaye are rated 4 out of 5 based on 20 testimonials.