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Dismissing A Member Of Staff


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Hi everyone!

 

I hope someone will be able to help me with this one.

 

I have a member of staff who was employed on a temporary contract to cover a nursery assistants maternity leave. She was employed on the recommendation of another member of staff, references were checked too, although she only had minimal experience of working with children before.

 

She has worked for us now for five weeks and in that time she has not managed more than a three day week. The excuses have been varied and very inventive!! That is when she has actually phoned and not just not turned up for work. When she does manage to come to work she is late and on one occasion left without telling anyone!! All of these incidents have been dealt with at the time but with very little effect.

 

As much as we have had disciplinary meetings, none of these were formal with a representative there.

 

I basically want to know if I can dismiss her. She has signed a contract which states that there is a three month probationary period and within this period one weeks notice can be given by either the employee or employer. Do I still have to have gone through the disciplinary procedure i.e. formal warnings and notice of intention to dismiss which I would have to do after the probationary period.

 

I have read the dti website and others and they all seem to imply that an employee cannot claim for unfair dismissal if they have been employed for less that a year but the last thing I want to do is open the nursery up to a potential unfair dismissal claim or gain a reputation for treating staff badly.

 

I have never even had to discipline another member of staff. I am very lucky to have a fantastic team. They have all asked me to dismiss this member of staff but obviously I need to check the legal side of it all.

 

Sorry for the long post

Claire

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Thanks for that. Your attachment is what I also have and what our contracts are based on. I know it says I can terminate the contract with one weeks notice and I assume this means exactly what it says on the tin! xD But what I am unsure of and want to clarify is if there is anything I have to have done before terminating the contract, i.e. disciplinary hearings and formal warnings or if these are not necessary during the pobationary period. :o

 

Claire

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You should follow certain procedures just to cover your back.

 

All info i have on this is at work but off the top off my head:

 

Firstly, write her a letter stating that the company is thinking of dismissing her and state the reasons why, invite her to a meeting and state that if she does not attend this or give good enough reason the meeting will be held in her absence.

 

If she does attend meeting you would need to discuss all the things you have mentioned in your post, followed by why they are unacceptable, such as legal ratios must be covered etc.

 

This also gives her an opportunity to put her side across, but whatever she says it will not excuse her past behaviour, so you will still be in the favourable position.

 

You would ask her to wait for half an hour whilst you and the other people at the meeting discuss the outcome.

 

After this time call her back in and explain that you will be dismissing her due to past conduct etc and that you will be giving her a weeks notice from then.

 

I would recommend paying her for this week and letting her go immediatley, a dismissed employee will generate much bad feeling amongst other staff, also you cant rely that she will turn up anyway.

 

Hope this helps if you want more info let me know by Tues and i can get info from work.

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Hi Claire

If you are a member of PLA then contact them and make certain that you are doing the right thing or give the DTI a ring on Tuesday.

If you are not a member then I would err on the side of caution and apply your procedures for a member of staff who has gone through the probationary preiod. That way you know that there should be no comeback.

Good luck-this is every employers worst scenario. I have had staff who I have wanted to dismiss in the past but, fotunately, they have decided that childcare is not for them and left.

Linda

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You could give ACAS a ring they will be able to give you advise and point youin thr right direction the phone number is 0845 7474747 (i think)

 

Good luck

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If your insurance is through the PLA, you are a member of lawcall, you should have a pin number that you give them when you phone, they will talk you through the whole process and make sure you are doing it right

Good luck with it!

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Hi saytch

if you go on the ACAS website it will give you the exact procedure for dismissing a member of staff. Its called 1,2,3 steps . it is very easy to understand. you must put things in writing and give them the chance to have some one else with them. If you ever have to discipline a member of staff always have some one with you to document it, and witness it, for both parties. the only reason that you could dismiss immediately should be on her contract like drugs alchol or danger to the children. if you write to her now and give a formal warning and give her a week to pull her socks up then another formal written warning again, then you should be able to dismiss her at the end. but try the ACAS website it very good on the law side of things. good luck its not nice but sometime you have to do things like that. It will make you a stronger person :D

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Thank you for all your replies. They have really helped and confirmed what I thought but was not sure of!!

 

I'll phone PLA on Tuesday as suggested and have read all the websites mentioned.

 

Once again thank you, this site is fantastic, it is full of people with a great knowledge and it is fantastic to have a place to share. :)

 

Claire

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