Dismissing employees fairly

During the course of your business, you may be required to dismiss an employee.

The Small Business Fair Dismissal Code provides small businesses with a process to follow if they need to dismiss an employee. The Code applies to your business if you have less than 15 employees (based on a simple headcount of all staff you employ on a regular and systematic basis). If you follow the Code when dismissing an employee, the dismissal will be deemed to be fair by the Fair Work Commission.

The Code explains:

  • when it is fair to dismiss an employee
  • your responsibilities
  • the employee's rights
  • what you need to prove if your employee makes a claim for unfair dismissal (which they can do after they've been employed for 12 months).

If you need to dismiss an employee, follow the Code to ensure you do it fairly, and reduce the risk to your business. There are different rights and obligations that come as a result of ending employment. These depend on they way in which the employee exits.

To download the Code and a checklist to help you follow it, visit unfair dismissal on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

Read our People topic to learn more about your rights and responsibilities as an employer.

Thanks for your feedback. If you have any ideas on how we can improve, we'd love to hear them.

Please provide your comments in the feedback form.

You might also be interested in