We regularly get calls from employees telling me they have been fired, but they’re not sure if it was done the right way, or if it was fair.
The one-line answer would be if you knew what was happening at every step of the way then it is likely the dismissal was fair and reasonable. So this means you knew what the allegations were, which includes knowing the identity of anybody making a complaint about you.
It is absolutely unfair for an employer to use anonymous allegations to take disciplinary action against you. In the same way, if there is evidence against you, perhaps something like a video, you need to see that before the disciplinary meeting - not at the disciplinary meeting.
And the process needs to be fair – which simply means you knew what was happening at every step of the process.
So you had:
- advance notification of disciplinary meetings
- you knew exactly what the employer was telling you
- you were invited to have a support person
- you had plenty of time to prepare for that meeting
- you saw all of the evidence that the employer was relying on.
Once at the meeting, the process still needs to be fair. That means the employer told you exactly what their concerns were and you had a full opportunity to say anything you like in response.
At the end of this meeting, if there were no new issues needing investigation or anything like that, the next issue would be the decision by the employer. This process should be that you are told what the outcome was likely to be, and you were given an opportunity to comment on that - basically that is your last chance to convince the employer that you haven’t done anything wrong or at least not significantly wrong.
But it is also fair for the employer to make up their own mind. So if the decision was to dismiss, you should have known that dismissal was the likely outcome.
If this is a pretty accurate summary of how you got fired, then it is likely the dismissal was fair. If your dismissal missed any of these key points get in touch.
One last thing to think about - the most common mistake that employees make is not getting advice early enough and not taking support people into disciplinary meetings. Call Paul today on 03-222 2385 if you need an outside set of eyes. there is no charge for the initial call and Paul will quickly help you deteremine if you've been treated unfiarly and your next steps.