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Take care when dismissing an employee

It is sad, but true, that sometimes an employer/employee relationship has to end.  In the domestic staff environment, matters are often clouded by the closeness which can build up between employer and staff member.

There are many reasons why the relationship has to end, but certainly one of them is when one has to dismiss an employee, as distasteful that may be.

However, as in many things nowadays, nothing is as simple as it once was, and although we must stress that the laws regarding dismissal are fair and in place to protect those in our employment, we as employers must be aware of procedures to ensure that the process is carried out correctly.  Otherwise, the employee can certainly take action for unfair dismissal with all that entails.

So, here is a quick reminder of issues of which you need to be aware:

  • You, as employer for example, may well believe that you have acted correctly, but if your employee believes that you have acted unreasonably, and unfairly, they may well have a claim against you.
  • Dismissing staff without notice, or a reason, is unreasonable and constitutes unfair dismissal.
  • There are other reasons that constitute unfair dismissal:
    • Dismissing staff for taking paternity or adoption leave, pregnancy or maternity leave.
    • Dismissing someone for only working part-time.
  • Discrimination in regards to issues such as sex, age and religious beliefs.
  • Applying discrimination in regards to pay and working hours,

There are other reasons as well which are unlikely to fall within the scope of a domestic staff member and we need not explore here.

We have said on many occasions, you may think you are in the right, but rather than act in the heat of a moment, take time out to consult appropriate legal advice.

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