Terminating an employee can often be an arduous process that can get clouded with emotion from both parties. However, it is essential that the termination process is carried out in a careful manner from the very start. If the termination process is not managed, the employer can become liable in relation to an unfair dismissal claim or even adverse action if the situation warrants it.

So, what can you do, to make sure that the process is executed in a fair and lawful manner?

1. Identify performance weaknesses

Identify the performance weakness in the employee early on. The extent of the weakness should be identified clearly and with specificity.

2. Notify the employee

It is then essential that the employee is notified that weaknesses have been identified and there is scope to improve. Again, the employee should be provided with specific detail on how their performance has lapsed.

3. Performance improvement plan

The employee should then be placed on a performance improvement plan which provides them with the adequate support and time to improve their performance in the workplace.

It is important that a genuine effort is made when performance managing an employee. This can be one of the most integral steps that provides the employee with the ability to change their performance. In some cases, the need to terminate an employee will cease here.

4. Notice of termination

If there is still no evidence that the employee has improved their performance, it may be necessary to make the decision to terminate the employee. However, depending on the employee’s position, adequate notice in accordance with the employment contract or award must be given. You must also ensure that the employee has received their full entitlements upon termination.

As you can see, terminating an employee is a lengthy process and it is essential that it is managed well from its early stages.

If you believe you have a problematic employee, please contact JFMLAW on 02 9331 0266 and we can advise you on the steps to implement when a termination of employment may be a possibility because of poor performance.