If you need to start formal or disciplinary action, dismiss a member of staff, or make redundancies in your salon or barbershop make sure you follow the right procedures and stay within the law.
Always get professional legal advice before taking any action.
This blog post covers:
- Taking formal action
- Dismissing a member of staff
- Making staff redundant
- Employment tribunals
You must have clear written rules and procedures in place so your employees are clear about what is expected of them, including their general conduct, levels of performance, and rules around specific issues such as use of social media. They must understand what is acceptable and what is unacceptable and what the consequences may be if they fall below the required standard.
If your employee constantly underperforms, is frequently late or off sick, or behaves in an unacceptable way, for example, coming into work under the influence of alcohol, you will need to sit down with them to discuss the situation. It’s best practice to tackle difficult issues as quickly as possible for the wellbeing of all your staff and your business. Take the time to have a private conversation with your employee. Don’t be confrontational – remember they may have personal, health or workplace issues that are affecting their performance and behaviour. Give them lots of opportunities to have their say and try to agree a positive way forward.
When things don’t work out …
If your informal discussions don’t lead to sufficient improvements in your employee’s performance or behaviour you may need to start formal performance management or disciplinary proceedings. You must take legal advice before taking any action. If you don’t follow the correct procedures, you may face an employment tribunal.
You must have a fair and valid reason to dismiss a member of staff.
Never dismiss a member of staff without taking legal advice.
Don’t forget – if your employee is having difficulty in the workplace for health reasons, you should do everything you can to help and support them so they can do their job.
Summary dismissal means dismissing someone on the spot without notice, usually because of gross misconduct such as theft, fraud or violence in the workplace.
You must still act fairly and follow due process when carrying out an instant dismissal. Always take legal advice.
An employee can be made redundant when you no longer need anyone to do their job.
The lawful reasons for redundancy include:
• Your business closes permanently or temporarily.
• Your business moves and your employee cannot get to the new place of work.
• Fewer employees are needed to do the existing work.
You should always take legal advice before starting a redundancy process.
Redundancy and maternity
Women who are pregnant or on maternity leave can be made redundant if the redundancy process is carried out in a fair and legal way. However, the law is very strict about this and special rules apply to pregnant women and women on maternity leave.
It is unfair dismissal and discrimination if you select a woman for redundancy because she is pregnant or on maternity leave.
Our in-depth guide to pregnancy and parenting is available for download to NHBF Members only.
Employment tribunals make independent decisions about various employment issues including pay, dismissal and discrimination.
If you lose the case, you may have to pay compensation to your employee, offer them employment again, pay witness expenses or pay damages or loss of earnings.
• Always take legal advice before taking any action.
• You must have clear written rules and procedures in place.
• You must act fairly and reasonably or you may face an employment tribunal.
• Try to sort out any issues quickly and informally.
• Remember you have a duty of care towards your employees.
• If your informal discussions don’t work, you may need to start formal proceedings.
• You must have fair and valid reasons for dismissing a member of staff.
• You must act fairly, even if you need to dismiss someone without notice.
• You can only make staff redundant for specific legal reasons.
• Employees who have worked for you for over two years will be entitled to statutory redundancy pay.
• You cannot select a woman for redundancy just because she is pregnant or on maternity leave.