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Updated: Jun 4, 2020

As the owner CEO of a small business you may be thinking of hiring employees if you have not done so already. The down side is that there may come a time when you will need to dismiss an employee. There are two main reasons for a dismissal:

(1) Gross Misconduct

it is up to you and your organization to determine what constitutes gross misconduct. It usually includes actions such as

- physical violence

- theft or fraud

- serious incapacity brought on by drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs

- deliberate damage to equipment or property

- serious infringement of health and safety regulations

Every employee must be aware of and understand what 'gross misconduct' is. It would be good practice to have this outlined

in a handbook for staff to access and ensure that they know where to find it. Employees must also be told that the penalty for 'gross misconduct' is dismissal

(2) Poor Performance

Employers alway try to recruit the right people to fill their jobs however sometimes employees fall short of what is required of them. Dismissals cannot be taken lightly as it can be very damaging to the employee as well as the management and the work environment left behind.

There should be a protocol in place that outlines how to manage poor performance and this should include how the employee is supported and every effort should be made to bring the employee to a place of good performance.

This protocol usually include

- letting the employee know of their shortcomings and given an opportunity to improve. Additional trains, supervision, timelines etc can be employed here to help the employee.

- if this ignored there should be an informal oral warning which is kept on file for possibly 6 months

- this is usually followed by a written warning if no improvement, which should be kept on file as well

- a final written warning comes before the dismissal.

- finally the employee may be dismissed and should be informed in writing the reasons for the dismissal.

Employers it is always a good idea to consult an employment attorney to put a robust dismissal package in place that would respect the rights of the employee and avoid unnecessary litigation.

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