You're fired!

You might remember when AOL CEO, Tim Armstrong, came under media scrutiny in 2013 for firing an employee in front of around 1,000 staff, which was recorded and leaked. Having to dismiss a member of staff is never a pleasant experience, but there is a best practice you can aspire to and a wealth of online resources to help you.

But first, let’s take a look at the worst approaches to dismissal!

5. The Silent Treatment

Sometimes employers subconsciously treat an employee differently when considering dismissing them. Ignoring the individual you are planning to manage out of the company is not the right way to deal with an issue and may give rise to various claims.

4. Email

It may seem practical to use email if you’re working remotely or want to avoid an awkward situation, but it is not professional! What if your employee doesn’t even read the email?
There are policies and procedures that need to be followed in these situations; as a start, make sure you meet them in person.

3. Outside the office

Taking a colleague outside of the office on a conference, lunch, or even an annual event are not appropriate places to let them go.  It should be formal and in line with procedures.

2. After a disagreement

In the heat of the moment, emotions take over and it is not always possible to think clearly. Choosing to dismiss an employee should not be an emotional decision. Take a moment to calm down and decide the appropriate course of action.

1. @Employee You're Fired! – Social Media

Don’t do this! It is there for the whole world to see and can seriously bring the company into disrepute, as well as being totally humiliating for the employee.

The Proper Way

There are 5 potentially fair reasons to dismiss and each has its own best practice procedure to follow.

A lot of the time it is about communication. Where are the issues? Is it an employee’s conduct? Is it their performance? What can you do to help them improve? Or perhaps you simply cannot afford them anymore.

A good starting point is to have a functioning company handbook which sets out all the policies and procedures by which the company abides. They aren’t contractual and can change with the needs of the company. Training your employees in these policies lets them know what’s expected of them and provides ways to manage the situation should dismissing become unavoidable.

Remember, always take advice! A Tribunal claim can be very costly and stressful and it takes you away from running your business. For more information about getting the best from your staff get in touch with us on 020 7226 0570 or email Jane Johnson at