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Tips for employers: unfair dismissal claims and practical ways to avoid them

This is an abridged version of a more comprehensive article you can find here.

It is difficult (if not impossible) to prevent a disgruntled employee from making an unfair dismissal claim. However, there are some ways to protect your business from the costly and time-consuming nature of defending such claims. These include by:

  1. ensuring your employment agreements are lawful and robust;
  2. ensuring there is a valid and concrete reason for the dismissal;
  3. ensuring notice periods and other requirements set out in the employment contract, award or legislation are complied with;
  4. ensuring the employee has the opportunity to respond to the allegations before the decision to terminate is made;
  5. ensuring the dismissal is in writing;
  6. maintaining contemporaneous notes to be utilised at any conciliation or hearing at a later date to support the validity of termination (ie instances of behaviour justifying grounds for dismissal);
  7. implementing sufficient levels of transparency between employees and managers in relation to expectations of work and opportunities for giving feedback (this is particularly important where dismissals are based on differences in personalities); and
  8. avoiding on the spot dismissals where possible. It is imperative to comply with any requirements set out in an employment contract or by law.

You can read a more comprehensive article on unfair dismissal claims here. If you need any advice on how to protect your business against unfair dismissal claims or are dealing with a claim already, contact Aaron McDonald at aaron@pragma.law. 

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