dismissal procedures

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In a claim for unfair dismissal the employment tribunal must consider whether, in addition to the employer being able to show a reason for the dismissal that is listed in the Employment Rights Act 1996, the employer acted reasonably (fairly) in treating the reason as justifying dismissal. An important part of deciding the fairness of a dismissal is the question of whether the employer followed a fair procedure. This would include, in appropriate cases, a warning, a hearing, and the possibility of an appeal. In an effort to reduce the number of cases proceeding to a tribunal, statutory dismissal procedures were introduced by the Employment Act 2002 but these were found to be overly inflexible and complex and had the opposite effect to that intended. As a result, the procedures are to be repealed by the Employment Act 2008 as from April 2009. Guidance as to the kind of procedures an employer should follow in order to behave fairly are laid down in the ACAS Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance (as amended to reflect the repeal of the statutory procedures). If either party does not follow the Code, it is open to the tribunal to make adjustments in any compensation that is awarded.

Subjects: Law.

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