Dismissal is when an employer ends the employment of an employee. This can be with or without notice. A decision to dismiss should only be reached following a fair procedure, this is discussed further here (HL to disciplinary procedures & guidance page).

Where an employer dismisses an employee they must show they have a valid reason that they can justify they acted reasonably.

An employer must also be consistent in how they treat employees. By way of example, an employer shouldn’t dismiss an employee for doing something that other employees do / have done without consequence. Another example, if the employee is part time or a fixed term worker, an employer  cannot treat them less favourably that a full-time or permanent employee.

In most instances, where an employer dismisses an employee, the employee will need to give no less notice than what is detailed in the employees contract of employment or, the statutory minimum notice, whichever is the longer.

The dismissal should be confirmed by the employer, to the employee in writing.  This written confirmation should also detail the reasons for the dismissal. Provision of this is a legal right where an employee has completed 2 years’ service, or 1 year if the employee commenced employment prior to 6 April 2012.

Where the employee is not provided with such written confirmation, they have the right to request such confirmation and this must be supplied by the employer within 14 days of the employee asking for it.

An employer must give an employee a written statement if they are dismissed while they are on Statutory Maternity Leave. This should happen automatically even if the employee has not requested the statement and regardless of how long the employee has worked for the employer.