If you have to dismiss an employee, you need to ensure you have a valid reason. A dismissal may be deemed unfair if it is harsh, unjust or unreasonable, or not due to a genuine redundancy.
Unfair dismissal can result in penalties, such as prosecution, and can be damaging for your business.
If an employee's performance has been unsatisfactory, you should warn them and give them an opportunity to respond before dismissing them. If dismissal becomes necessary, notify the employee of the dismissal date.
Learn more about unfair dismissal, including what an employee should do if they believe they have been unfairly dismissed.
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 staff performance reviews.
- Find out about managing conflict in the workplace.
- Find mental health and wellbeing resources for businesses.
- Last reviewed: 17 Jul 2017
- Last updated: 6 Nov 2019