If you employ people in your small business, most of the time things will go off without a hitch. In rare cases, though, things go wrong, and in these circumstances you may need a termination of employment letter.
We’ve teamed up with Clarkslegal LLP to bring you a free, customisable employee termination letter.
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Every small business has its own, specific legal requirements, but most cannot afford the army of lawyers that their big competitors have at hand. Clarkslegal offer legal documentation that you can download and customise to ensure that you’re staying on the right side of the law.
If things go really wrong, you may need to dismiss an employee. It’s always a good idea to do that by way of a clear letter giving notice of termination of employment and setting out your reasons.
If the reason for the dismissal is that the employee is guilty of gross misconduct, you are likely to decide to terminate their dismissal without notice. The attached letter, ‘confirmation of dismissal without notice (gross misconduct)’, is for use in these circumstances.
You must only use this document to terminate a contract of employment in the case of gross misconduct. Anything less than that, even serious misconduct, and you’ll almost certainly have to give notice (or pay in lieu of notice).
It’s important to have clear documentation stating your reasons for termination in case the employee attempts to fight against their dismissal in a tribunal.
The Clarkslegal termination of employment letter template is customisable to your requirements, so you can make sure you have the correct documentation in place in the event that you need to end a contract without notice.
Gross misconduct is rare, but you should be prepared for it amongst your employees. Acts that constitute gross misconduct might include theft, gross negligence, or physical violence.
In the event of gross misconduct, you may be able to terminate a contract of employment without notice. However, it is important that you still follow a fair procedure for doing so.
You should make sure that the misconduct is investigated thoroughly and fairly, and the employee in question must be given the opportunity to respond to allegations before the act of dismissal.
Serious misconduct or underperformance includes acts that are likely to cause damage to the business, or indeed those that have already caused damage.
In these cases, as opposed to those of gross misconduct, you may decide to move straight to a ‘first and final’ warning. If you are unsure whether the misconduct in question is serious or gross, you should seek independent legal advice – however, ultimately the decision is the nominated decision maker's, and no one else can make the decision, not even the HR adviser.
If this is the first time an employee has acted in a way that is unacceptable, and prior to the incident they have a good disciplinary record, you are likely to be able to resolve the situation without dismissal – and, indeed, you should always try to do so in the first instance. Here, an informal discussion may be all that is needed. If you’re in any doubt, you should seek legal advice.
If you would like to make changes and don’t have Adobe Acrobat, you can also download our termination of employment letter (gross misconduct) template in Word format.
The attached document has been produced by Clarkslegal so we can’t take responsibility for its contents. We'd recommend you take professional advice before making any important decisions based on its contents.
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