In order for the employer to have ‘good reason’ for the dismissal or disciplinary action
, the employer must:
- have a genuine work-related reason for the dismissal or disciplinary action, and
- genuinely and reasonably believe that dismissal or disciplinary action is necessary or appropriate.
The following reasons are generally accepted as genuine work-related reasons that might justify disciplinary action, including dismissal:
- repeated misconduct, or serious misconduct (i.e. some form of wrongdoing), and
- poor performance – an ongoing failure to meet the reasonable expectations of the job.
An employer’s reasons for dismissal or disciplinary action must be reasonable to an independent and ‘reasonable’ observer. For example, it would not be reasonable to dismiss an employee instantly for a one-off instance of minor or trivial misconduct. However, if the employee has had sufficient warning and persists with the same or similar misconduct, then, after a fair process, dismissal may be reasonable.
The following reasons are generally also accepted as genuine business-related reasons that might justify a dismissal:
- redundancy – a situation in which the employee’s employment is terminated because, for a genuine work-related reason, the employer no longer needs that position
- incapacity – an inability by the employee to properly do his or her job, usually for health reasons, and
- incompatibility – a fundamental breakdown in the relationship between employees which makes continuing employment unworkable.
Dismissal and disciplinary action are serious matters, and should not be taken lightly.