Home Meta How to Legally Fire an Employee – Complete Guide
How to Legally Fire an Employee – Complete Guide

December 9, 2022

How to Legally Fire an Employee – Complete Guide

December 9, 2022

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how to legally fire an employee

As a business owner, you are responsible for hiring and firing employees regularly. While hiring is usually connected with document issues, firing can cost a significant amount of money for an employer, especially in some countries. As a result, even with poor quality of work, companies hold their full-time employees as much as they can to avoid all this waste. 

The market is growing rapidly, forcing companies to constantly extend their teams to stay relevant and get a competitive advantage. In addition, all businesses are moving digital, making it harder to differentiate your business from the rest of the market. Some companies choose other development options, like outsourcing, to prevent issues with firing in-house employees, but it can also end up costing you in the long run.

Some countries restrict an employer from firing specialists without specific rules. These rules differ from place to place but usually require a company to pay three salaries before an employee can leave, wait for a month or two more, and so on. The thing here is that in case of not being compliant with the rules, a company may face a court and pay even more in case of loss.

As a business owner, you may want to know how to legally fire employees if they don’t perform their tasks as expected with no stress and hassle. If so, this guide is for you.

5 Hiring Tips to Build a Strong Team

If you want to reduce issues with firing, you should first focus on who you hire. Getting onboard quality specialists and creating a strong team is the best way to avoid any unwanted firing issues. Therefore, before we dive into the best way to fire someone, let’s first explore how to build a strong team and hire the right people:

1. Identify Your Key Attributes

Before hiring people, you need to create a company’s culture around key attributes. Some companies want employees that are proactive and can easily adjust to changes. Others want those with exceptional soft skills. However, key values and attributes are closely related to the industry you work in, your field, and your business goals. If you want to create a strong team that will suit your needs, start by identifying attributes and asking relevant questions during the interview.

2. Go for Diversity

Successful companies know that workplace diversity is the key to success. Hiring clones isn’t a good tactic if you want to achieve results. People with different opinions, backgrounds, life views, and morals allow you to finish the puzzle. This helps each team member to grow over time, learn from each other and contribute to the company’s success. You still need to ensure that all these people are able to communicate without fights and ecologically discuss issues.

3. Recruit People with Different Experience Levels

Regardless of the size of your business, you will benefit from hiring juniors and middle specialists. Some companies only want senior specialists who can finish all tasks quickly and effortlessly. However, the truth is that you will be surprised how far those junior specialists can go within a few years. They require onboarding, but they are cost-effective and will bring more value to your team over time. In addition, they are fresh minds, so you will be able to teach them things only your company needs instead of changing their skills.

4. Give the Team a Veto

If you have a team of experts that you trust and want to extend the team, you can include exciting specialists in the recruitment process. Give them a veto if any member has strong & reasonable objections to hiring a specific person. It is vital to listen to their opinion and don’t hire a person if someone strongly disagrees. 

5. Don’t Compromise

If you have an urgent need to hire someone or the person is incredibly talented yet doesn’t fit your values, don’t compromise. If you notice that someone doesn’t fit your team for some reason, it is best to continue the search. Don’t think about short-term solutions, as it will be too hard for you to fire the person when you notice more issues. The only way to create a strong and successful team is to hire the right people that you feel can fit the rest. 

how to legally fire an employee

10 Legal Reasons for Employee Termination

1. Incompetence

Incompetence is the key reason for firing an employee. Even though it is also known as poor performance, it is vital to note that this can be done legally only in case you warn a person several times before firing. If you talked to an employee and suggested help courses and assistance, and he/she is still unable to perform job duties as directed, you can legally fire an employee due to incompetence.

2. Insubordination

Insubordination is a term used to describe a behavior of an employee who refuses or refuses to follow the company’s instructions, usually paired with aggressive or disagreeable language. Since this behavior not only impacts the comfort of their colleague but also affects the overall mood of the company and its culture, it is a valuable reason to fire. It can also be done after several warnings.

3. Attendance

Employees who regularly skip or are late to work may not complete their work assignments. It also applies to employees who take more days off than the company offers. Employees with this behavior put too much load on their colleagues who may need to finish their tasks for them or cover them all the time, creating tension in the workplace and leading to low morale in their departments.  

4. Theft

Theft is illegal. Stealing from a company or a colleague is the reason to fire someone. However, you should know that you will need hard evidence to do this. If not, an employee can go to court and demand payment for defamation and moral damage. Stealing means any type of robbery, from classic theft, like stealing office supplies, to stealing expensive items like laptops or phones.

5. Sharing Confidential Information

When you hire someone, the person must sign the document where he/she says that all information about the company is under NDA. If you have this document and the person shares confidential information about your organization, you can fire a person legally. 

6. Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is very dangerous in the workplace. It can vary from leaving unwanted comments on colleagues’ posts or unwanted physical touch. While most companies believe that it only applies to managers and their wards, any accusations of sexual harassment should be taken seriously, and conduct an investigation. Severe forms of sexual harassment should also be given to the police.

7. Violence

Any type of violence at work, like damaging company equipment or property through physical force, is an offense of termination and illegal as well. Create a zero-tolerance policy for violence in your company so that you can fire the employee immediately if any violent act occurs at work.  

8. Threats

Making threats of any kind is illegal and a reason to fire an employee. Regardless of whether these threats were verbal or written, if one of your employees threatens another team member, termination is a legal response. 

9. Substance Abuse

Substance abuse means drinking or consuming illegal drugs on the job. Since it may be hard to identify a person with substance abuse, some companies perform random drug and alcohol tests to see if employees are abusing drugs outside of work.  

10. Using Company Resources for Personal Needs

Some employees may have a freelance job or their own business outside of work. While it is okay for most companies today, if employees use the company’s resources and time for that venture, this is a reason to fire them.

how to legally fire an employee

Termination Laws in Different Countries

Australia

Grounds

Termination can be done in case of mutual agreement; by the employer or employee, with or without notice (subject to law).

Who is subject to termination laws?

Employees who have worked 6 months on their employer (or 12 months if the business is small and has less than 15 employees, including foreign ones). This also applies to businesses that earn less than the high-income threshold (currently AUD158,500) or those who are protected by a modern award or enterprise agreement and can make a claim for unfair dismissal.

Canada

Grounds

Termination without any notice or pay in lieu is permissible. However, the legal reasons for fire standards are high. These usually include gross or willful misconduct, willful neglect of duty, fraud, serious illegal actions, or repeated insubordination. Companies in Canada can fire employees legally if proper notice of termination or pay is given. 

Employees entitled to termination protection

Employees in Canada usually can not be fired without serious cause or without proper notice or pay. The right to reinstatement is applied to unionized employees terminated contrary to human rights legislation and team members terminated for exercising a statutory right concerning working conditions or employment standards (including pregnancy leave). It can be applied to those who both have the requisite length of service and are working in federally regulated industries or are employed in locations controlled by Quebec or Nova Scotia.

Finland

Grounds

Employers in Finland are not allowed to fire an employee without a proper and weighty reason that can be found in the Employment Contracts Act. These reasons usually include a serious breach or neglect of obligations or economic, production-related or reorganizational reasons.

Employees subject to termination laws

All employees under the Employment Contracts Act are protected.

UK

Grounds

Termination is possible if a legal process has been followed. Reasons to fire an employee in the UK are misconduct, capability (including performance and ill-health), redundancy, illegality, and other substantial reasons admitted in law.

Employees subject to termination laws

Employees having less than 2 years of seniority are not under dismissal protection.

US

Grounds

In almost all states, where there is no contract or union agreement to the contrary, a company can fire n employee for any non-discriminatory, non-retaliatory reason. It can be done at any time with or without notice, naming or not naming the reason.

Employees subject to termination laws

In almost all states, all employees are protected by several laws that say that they can’t be fired because of reasons related to discrimination or retaliation. Those employees having a written employment agreement usually have greater protections that are clearly dictated by their contracts.

How Can Interexy Help?

Interexy is a well-known mobile & web development company with years of experience in various fields. Being located in Dubai and having an international team, we know how hard it can be to say goodbye to team members. That is why we offer clients our IT staff augmentation services

Since hiring employees using this model is temporary and on a contract basis, companies can easily stop cooperation regardless of their location. Team augmentation allows you to hire specialists with no recruitment process while firing them doesn’t require you to follow any rules directed by the law. Being cost-effective and the quickest way to hire specialists, team augmentation is the best way to run your business in countries where firing full-time employees is a tricky and costly task.

Final Thoughts

The market moves rapidly, requiring companies to follow the latest trends and constantly extend their teams. However, not every company can hire new employees thanks to issues related to firing them. As a result, these companies are afraid of hiring new team members. Luckily, knowing how to legally fire an employee can save the situation. But if you don’t want to wait until the valuable reason appears yet want to get the best experts on board quickly, book a call to discuss how our outstaff services can cover your needs!

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