HR Problems PageWednesday, December 22nd, 2010
Here we take our weekly look at answering some of the tricky HR questions we’ve been emailed. If you have a tricky HR question you needs answering email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post the best here with an answer each week.
Who should dismiss?
Who should dismiss employees – the line manager or someone from HR?
Employees should be dismissed only by an authorised manager. That needs literal interpretation. The person must be a manager, someone with authority, and must be clearly authorised by the employer to handle dismissals. Your disciplinary procedure should make clear who exactly has that authority. In addition of course the manager must understand the discipline process and how to handle it properly. Ideally heads of department should carry out dismissal since they are responsible for their own employees, though you are advised to have a senior HR manager present to ensure that the whole process is carried out properly. If for whatever reason this is not practicable, then a senior HR manger should carry out the dismissal.
Long journey to work
An employee has moved house to a rural location. This is all very well, but it has lengthened significantly his journey to work and we feel that he will therefore be unable to do his job. Are we entitled to dismiss him?
You should not dismiss an employee because you assume that he will be unable to do his job. You need evidence. Certainly explain your concerns to the man, that you are worried that he will find the journey too much. He may of course be looking to find a job nearer his new home, which would resolve the problem for you. However, in the meantime you may discipline him if his timekeeping suffers or if his standard of work deteriorates. Give a series of warnings and, if they fail to bring him back to your required standard, then you may dismiss.