Termination of Employment (Within Probation)

Sometimes the sad reality of operating a business or organisation and recruiting new employees, requires the termination of someone’s employment within probation. As most of our members will be aware, advising termination is more than often a last resort and almost always means that the requisite employer/employee relationship has broken down or that simply the employee is unsuitable for the role (or the organisation or role being unsuitable to them).

A recent case that has been reported on, where a small law firm sacked one of its administrators over WhatsApp, although unsuccessful, raises questions and necessitates the conversation of a question DLP are all so often asked “how can I terminate someone’s employment”?

Of course, it goes without saying that for insurance purposes and ensuring that the correct legal procedure is followed, that you consult your dedicated DLP advisor before considering carrying out a termination. Please note that the below, general, advice would be subject to assessing any protected characteristics, protected disclosures (i.e. could the employee claim that they were dismissed due to, for example, raising a safeguarding complaint) or indeed any other factors that your DLP advisor would explore prior to a decision been made.

the basic and fundamental advice:

Termination within probation

  • Call the employee into a meeting and offer them a witness (in the form of a trade union representative or colleague).
  • Hand them the letter (which will be approved by DLP) confirming that their employment has been terminated.
  • You should then explain the reasons documented in the letter for termination (again, approved by DLP).
  • The letter must contain a right to appeal. This is a statutory right and is an essential requirement of the letter (usually stating it must be received within 5 working days) Please note, the appeal officer cannot be anyone who is party to this termination meeting.
  • The letter should also confirm the employee’s notice period, whether this needs to be worked or not and also confirm that their accrued annual leave will be paid in their final salary and that their P45 will be forwarded on in due course.
  • The meeting should be concluded asking for the employees work articles i.e. company phone and ID badge. They should then be escorted from the premises to ensure that no risk is posed to the organisation, its employees or information.
  • Should an appeal be received, then please contact a DLP Advisor for further instruction.

Remember, if you feel uncomfortable, uneasy or simply unskilled to carry out such a delicate and potentially complex issue, a DLP Advisor is able to attend your premises and carry out client instructions on your behalf. This includes all documentation, any potential appeal, any escalation to ACAS or Tribunal on your behalf—ensuring compliance and insurance.

Should you have any questions feel free to reach out to our help line. DLP advisors are available to answer any questions you may have at 0330 400 4495.


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