You're Fired! - Terminating an employee

So, you have an employee who is not performing/meeting expectations/not the right fit, there may be many reasons…..what do you, or can you, do about it?  We often see it in the movies or TV programmes out of the States – “you’re fired!”    Is it really as easy as giving an employee notice and terminating employment?

The short answer is no.  You cannot simply give an employee notice and terminate them (unless they have a valid 90-day trial clause in the employment agreement, but that’s a separate topic).  Employment agreements often state something to the effect that ‘either party can terminate by giving the other party notice, in writing’, however, care must be taken as to how this is carried out.

There are several valid reasons where you might want to terminate an employee who isn’t on or is outside of the 90 Day trial:

  • serious misconduct
  • repeated misconduct
  • performance issues
  • redundancy
  • incompatibility 
  • incapacity

In these situations, you should act in good faith, have a valid reason, keep an open-mind without pre-determination of outcomes and follow a fair and reasonable process to terminate.  Fair and reasonable processes will not necessarily be the same for each of these situations and must be looked at on a case by case/individual basis. 

Terminating employees isn’t easy and can be sensitive.  If you’re in any doubt about termination or require assistance, contact the team at Grow HR to discuss.