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Today, let's dive into the world of short service dismissals. Below is a lowdown on what the law says and some practical advice. 

The Lowdown on the Law: 

So, you've hired someone, and it turns out they're not quite the workplace hero you envisioned. 
What do you do? 
Well, in the UK, you can terminate with less than two years’ service without always going through the full disciplinary procedures. Under 2 years’ service means the employee does not have the full rights to claim unfair dismissal so you may be able to speed up the dismissal process. If you follow the teachings given in HR Download’s Onboarding product you will be sure, confident and clear for everyone involved…including potential legal proceedings. 

BUT there are still some rules of engagement you need to follow. 

Practical Tips: 
1. Document it: Before you rush into dismissal, make sure you've got the evidence to back it up. Document performance issues, missed deadlines, and any other workplace challenges. This will help the conversation and remove any ambiguity. 
2. Play it by the Book: Most managers are so fed up by the time they reach this decision that they rush the ending and that leaves what is a sound decision really risky. To avoid this, follow your company's policies. It's not just about looking good in front of the employment tribunal; it's about keeping things fair and transparent as your talent is watching you. Doing things right helps you to build a strong employer brand. 
3. Give it some thought: Patience is a virtue, especially in employment matters. Given the cost of recruitment and the time investment into new colleagues, don't rush into a dismissal. Consider alternative options like performance improvement plans or additional training. Give your colleague a chance to turn things around – you might be surprised! Indeed, we often find managers who intentionally try are. 
4. Give them a chance to appeal: It’s always best practice to offer this in your dismissal letter so if you have missed anything and the employee is alleging unfairness you have the opportunity to iron out any issues or correct the mistake before dealing with a potential claim. 

Common Pitfalls and Red Flags: 

1. Ignoring the Paper Trail: any prior warnings, performance reviews, and emails documenting issues should not be ignored. Tribunals love a good paper trail. 
2. Discrimination: Be careful not to let your decision to dismiss be tainted by discrimination. Whether it's age, gender, race, or any other protected characteristic, be sure to stick to the facts and avoid making decisions based on personal biases. We have been surprised how often clients have fallen into this trap. So, call us to check on yourself. 
3. Be cautious: If your team member whom you are considering dismissing has been raising concerns about workplace issues, be cautious. Dismissing them in the midst of their complaints might mean they have protection and could be classed as ‘automatically unfair dismissal’. Consult with HR Download and consider addressing those concerns before dismissing them. 

In Conclusion: 

It can be a faster process to dismiss with under 2 years' service but there are things to consider ensuring this is fair, justifiable action and the poor performance can be evidenced. Remember, it's not just about the law; it's about creating a vibrant profitable workplace where everyone is free to do what you hired them to do. Contact your friendly HR consultant in Manchester for more advice on how to navigate short service dismissals. 
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