10 Tips To Fire Respectfully

June 12, 2017

10 Tips To Fire Respectfully1. Zero hours contracts are your friend.

Using zero hours contracts mean that if you have no work available you don’t need to dismiss the staff member, you simply don’t give them any work. The bad reputation associated with these contracts is not entirely justified as many companies use them ethically and many workers enjoy the flexibility of these contracts.

2. Embrace fixed term contracts.

If you can’t guarantee a steady and sustained flow of work for more than a year, then you might want to think about using a fixed term contract, so you can easily end the person’s contract if work dries up.

3. Love freelancers.

Freelancers aren’t as expensive as they used to be, especially if you use one of the many online freelancer marketplaces to get a good price. (elance.com, guru.com, odesk.com). They also work contract to contract, aren’t covered by employment law and are very easy to dismiss.

4. Use permanent contracts appropriately.

If you can guarantee a flow of work for the foreeable future (more than a year), barring unforeseen circumstances then a permanent contract is probably the right choice, other wise, use one of the 3 options above.

5. Warn staff and give them time to improve.

Unless staff do something really bad, (you know, like theft or violence), you need give to staff warnings and enough time to change before firing them because they aren’t working out as you wish. It’s the right and legal thing to do.

6. Give them a soft landing.

A palatable alternative to a dismissal can sometimes be a demotion or transfer to another role in your business that they have the skills to do well. You could even change their role to make it more suitable. If you give an employee a soft landing, or another option it can be a great alternative to an outright dismissal.

7. Listen before you layoff.

We know that by law you need to consult with staff before you lay them off, but it makes good business sense too. Ask staff if they have any other alternatives to layoff such as reduced hours working, efficiency drives, new ideas etc… They’ll feel better for being given a say in their destiny whatever the outcome.

8. Ask for volunteers.

You may find that if you have to lay off a group of staff that one or two of them may be happy to leave voluntarily with the right financial incentives. It literally is a much more agreeable way to part ways.

9. Listen to all sides of the story before dismissing.

Before dismissing staff for performance, listen to the employee’s side of the story and get the facts straight before making a decision on whether to warn or dismiss. Just follow the ACAS Disciplinary Code.

10. Give them a sense of fairness.

By law, employees have right to appeal against any warning or disciplinary action.

Stay ahead with HR

Get free HR insights, expert tips and exclusive interviews, and start making more impact at work

Please enter a valid email address

See People HR in action

View our short video demo

Get started absolutely free

No credit card required

Talk with an expert to learn how People HR could help your organisation