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Employment can end for many reasons:

  • Such as an employee resigning;
  • or an employer terminating the employee.


If an employee resigns, the employer should confirm the resignation in writing including the employee’s final day. If the employee does not provide the correct notice, the employer may withhold an amount of money from the employee’s final pay.

Termination &/or Dismissal

If an employer dismisses an employee, they must do it fairly and lawfully.

If not, they expose their business to costly unfair dismissal or general protections claims which may also include reinstating the employee.

The reasons an employer may terminate an employee could include:

  • CAPACITY – Where the employee is incapable of performing the requirements of the job eg due to long-term illness or injury
  • PERFORMANCE – Where the employee is failing to meet the required performance standard contained in their job description or agreed performance improvement plan
  • MISCONDUCT – Where the employee engages in behaviour that is inappropriate or in breach of company policies.
  • REDUNDANCY – Where a role is no longer required to be performed by anyone within the business.

To get it right, there are important steps to follow before termination is even considered.

The only exception is behaviour that is so serious that it warrants instant dismissal. This is known as serious misconduct.

Even in this situation, the employer should ask the employee to show cause why they should not be dismissed before they make their final decision.


If an employee is full time or part time, the notice period must be paid or worked out on termination The only exception is termination for serious misconduct where no notice is required.

Final Pay

Make sure the employee’s final pay is paid out within 7 days of the employment ending. This includes any unused annual leave and long service leave (where applicable). It may also include redundancy pay where a full-time or part-time employee is made redundant.

Need help with HR?

Contact the HR and employment law experts at BetterHR to minimise your risks. We’ll talk you through the correct steps to take before you terminate an employee.

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