How to end employment
in a fair and legally compliant manner

This section provides best practice guidelines for small businesses on how to end the employment relationship in a fair and in compliance with the law. For a dismissal to be fair there must be a fair reason for the dismissal and a fair procedure must be followed.

An employment relationship is based on an agreement between the employer and the employee. When the agreement ends, the contract of employment terminates.

Dismissing an employee has serious consequences for both the employer and employee alike. For an employee, being dismissed is the most severe sanction that can be imposed. Dismissals, if challenged, could prove to be costly and time consuming for the employer.

This guide outlines what steps the employer should follow in dismissing an employee on one of the following grounds:

  • Conduct
  • Capacity (this includes poor performance, incompatibility, ill health or injury)
  • The employer’s operational requirements (retrenchment)