Before writing a dismissal letter to dismiss an employee, you need to make sure you’re doing it on the right terms and you’re not doing it unfairly. When considering dismissing an employee, you need to ensure you’re following the company guidelines, this way, you absolve yourself of any wrongdoing and the employee will have no grounds to sue.
Before discussing the intricacies associated with dismissal letters, let us first examine the grounds that constitute lawful dismissal.
What are The Common and Fair Reasons for Dismissal
By law, you’re not allowed to dismiss an employee unfairly. If you do, the employee has the right to sue and the next thing you know you’re facing an unfair dismissal claim before an employment tribunal.
By virtue of the 98th section of the Employment Rights Act (ERA) 1996, here are some valid reasons for dismissing an employee:
1. Underperformance and conduct issues. If an employee has serious misconduct issues or is underperforming at their duties, this is enough reason to send them a dismissal letter.
2. If the employee loses something that is essential to their job. An example of this is a license. If for some reason an employee loses their license, then you’re within your rights to dismiss the said employee.
3. If the employee became redundant and their services were no longer needed, this is also grounds for dismissal.
4. If you have ‘some other substantial reason’ SOSR for the dismissal. If you intend on dismissing an employee and the reasons for dismissal aren’t stated above, you can decide to dismiss the employee for some other substantial reason. The SOSR provision covers all other reasons for dismissing an employee.
If you have a valid reason to dismiss an employee such as:
Conflict of interest. If the employee has a conflict of interest with your competitors, it is grounds for dismissal.
Reputational damage. If the employee is charged with an offense that can damage the company's reputation, then the SOSR provision covers your bases for dismissing the said employee.
If the employee creates an unhealthy work environment. If the employee makes the workplace hostile as they do not get along with other colleagues, this is enough grounds to lay said employee off.
As an employer, there are multiple reasons to decide to let an employee go. Before deciding on any of these, you have to ensure that the reason is just. This way, the employee would have no legal ground to stand on.
Check the Employee’s Records Before Dismissal
If you’ve kept a record of the employee’s performance, it is important that you check it before dismissing them. Ensuring this verification is done is important so you don’t proceed with dismissing an employee only to find out later that they were dismissed unfairly.
Also before writing a dismissal letter to an employee, you must ensure that there are no holes in your reasons. This means making sure that your reasons for dismissing an employee and valid and that these red flags are not present in your reasons.
These red flags include:
- The employee’s performance is satisfactory. If you’re firing an employee for unsatisfactory performance, you need to ensure that you’re accurate and are not making this decision without accessing proper documentation.
- The reasons for dismissing the employee are unsubstantiated. If your reasons for dismissing an employee cannot be corroborated by supporting documents, then you may want to hold off on firing the said employee.
- You’re dismissing the employee based on hearsay. If the only reasons you have for dismissing an employee are based on hearsay, then if this case ever gets to court, you may not have a strong case. As such, you must have a clear indication of what happened.
Before the dismissal letter is sent to the employee, it is important that you’ve had a one-on-one meeting with the employee first. In this meeting with the employee and their supervisor, manager, or HR, you explain the content of the letter and also why the employee is being let go. You can decide to hand the letter to the employee right there and then or you can send it via email.
How to Write a Dismissal Letter
After making the decision to lay off an employee, you must notify the employee in writing.
In this section of this article, we’re going to discuss everything that goes into writing a dismissal letter. Everything in this section of this article should be included in any dismissal letter you write.
1. The Reason for the Dismissal.
This is easily the most important part of your dismissal letter. The reasons the employee is being let go should be clearly stated, referencing any factual event. When doing this, you must be as plain and direct as possible.
2. The factors that caused the conclusion.
Explain all the factors that caused the decision. If the employee received any warning or reprimand letter, this should also be stated in the letter they receive.
3. The notice period.
If the employee is required to stop working immediately or have a notice period, this should be stated in the letter sent.
4. State the effective dates.
All the important dates in the dismissal should be stated. This includes the date the contract is terminated, and the date the employee will receive their final pay. If the employee is with any office property, the date the employee is expected to return said property should also be stated in the letter.
5. Notify the Employee of their Right to Appeal.
The employee should be duly notified of their right to appeal the decision.
Dismissal Letter Sample One
To, Andrew James Engine and Foods, 123 Rear District, TX, 11101 18 February 2022, Sub: Letter of Dismissal Dear Mr. Andrew, We are writing this letter to inform you that you have been officially dismissed from Engine and Foods TLC. This notice takes place immediately and you are required to submit all office equipment by the end of the day. As regards your contract, you were warned that if you were found breaking the rules more than 3 times, we reserved the right to dismiss you. The decision to dismiss you was taken after reviewing your performance with regard to this clause. As you are aware from the last meeting we had on the (date of the last meeting), you were warned that if you didn't turn a new leaf, you would be let go. Since that meeting, we have recorded (employee’s misconduct) Since you refused to turn a new leaf, we are left with no option but to let you go. Please reach out to HR to complete the necessary procedures and return all effects related to this job. Kind Regards, (Your name and position)
Dismissal Letter Sample Two
Ms. Jane Foster 123 Ocean Eyes Street, Hamsphere, New Jersey 09009 Dear Jane, This letter confirms that your employment with Sam & Sam has been terminated effective immediately for your poor performance. You are hereby dismissed because despite being reprimanded multiple times by your employer, your attitude towards and your performance has remained the same. For the last 6 months, you have barely met your KPIs and have failed to apply all the corrections made by your manager. Your final payment will come at the end of the month and your sick days and vacation days will be tallied. Please turn in all company-owned items before the end of the week. If you have further inquiries, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Kind Regards, Jim Blessed. Head, Human Resources.
When sending an employee dismissal letter, it is crucial that it is done as soon as the in-person meeting with the employee is done. Reasons for dismissing an employee may vary according to the company, so, the provided samples should serve as guides to help you write the perfect dismissal letter.