How to reduce legal risk when firign an employee
You probably had really high hopes for the candidate you’re about to fire when you first hired them, but for whatever reason there may be a time when they have to be let go. For employers, they have the power to fire anyone so long as it’s not an illegal reason. However, even when there are legal reasons for firing someone, they can appear illegal depending on the circumstances.
Thankfully, attempts of lawsuits and legal risks can be avoided by taking some simple steps. Here are some questions that you should be asking yourself before going ahead with the firing of an employee.
Have your policies been correctly followed?
Before you consider firing an employee, one thing that you should definitely question is whether you’ve followed the policies that you’ve put in place. You need to make sure that every other employee has been treated the same way as the employee that you’re considering firing. This tends to be noted down in the employee handbook which both employees and employers should follow. The employee handbook helps to outline what disciplinaries take place if procedures are not followed which means if they are, the employee can make a case for being dismissed wrongfully.
Have issues been documented?
What’s critical in proving that you’ve rightfully dismissed your employee is documentation. Take advantage of employee reviews and meetings where the employee has been called in to discuss the matters and make notes of issues that have been going on. This also means reaching out to people that may have witnessed or been involved in the incidents that have occurred. If you feel the need to document photography and CCTV images then this can also be kept.
Has there been a recent complaint made by the employee?
Another thing that employers should be wary of is whether the employee who you’re considering firing has recently made a complaint about you or someone else in the organisation. This can appear extremely suspicious as firing them may seem as though you’re trying to cover something up and you’ve made the decision to fire them in retaliation to the reason they provided. This is why you should ensure that the reasons for firing are within reason.
Have correct payments been made to the employee?
Wages are documented to make sure that employees are entitled to their pay and they’ve been correctly paid for the hours they worked. If they haven’t and you fire the employee, they can use this reason to file a lawsuit against you. This will be a completely separate one to the case you may have filed, but they’ll still be entitled to every penny.
Consult with a lawyer
If you’ve reviewed these questions and feel as though you’re unsure about whether these are applicable to the situation or not, it may be worth consulting with Manchester solicitors about the issue. It can be risky if you were to fire an employee when some of the questions may apply. Losing a lawsuit can lead to settlement agreement solicitors being involved to make sure that your employee gets every penny that they’re owed.
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