Dismissal of staff
As an employer, you should be aware of employees' rights regarding the termination of their employment.
If you need to dismiss an employee, it must be for valid reasons. A dismissal should not be harsh, unjust or unreasonable. You may need to dismiss an employee immediately, known as a summary dismissal, for theft, fraud, violence, or serious work health and safety breaches.
Other dismissals may relate to an employee's conduct, capacity or performance.
You may also need to dismiss an employee because their role has become redundant due to a downturn in business or you no longer need someone to do their job.
You must be aware of the required notice periods and final pay for any employees you dismiss. Learn more about ending employment.
Small businesses are granted different legal rights for dismissing staff. Find out how the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code may apply to your business.
Advice and support
The Workplace Advice Service is a free independent legal assistance program for small businesses and employees. The program, offered by the Fair Work Commission, provides advice on topics including:
- general protections
- workplace bullying.
Read more about the Workplace Advice Service, including eligibility and how to request a consultation.
- Read about managing conflict in the workplace.
- Find out more about work health and safety.
- Learn about how your managerial style affects your staff.
- Find out how to manage people through change.
- Find mental health and wellbeing resources for businesses.
- Last reviewed: 17 Jul 2017
- Last updated: 6 Nov 2019