Unsurprisingly, we’re still SUPER busy here at Golf HR.
Thanks to the pandemic, we’re assisting with lots of changes, restructuring, and – unfortunately – the process of parting company with staff.
But during the sad – but crucial – process of deciding which roles need to go within a business, we all too regularly hit upon a serious mistake.
It’s usually when we’re in the middle of discussing staff members and what they do, when the manager pipes up with something along the lines of:
“This person needs to go – they’ve been with us for 2 years and 3 months, but they were never really good enough, they’ve got a poor attitude, so let’s get rid of them now!”.
Laying aside the fact that part of a manager’s job is to “manage” poor performance, the most irritating part of this statement is the fact that despite believing that their employee “needs to go”, they’ve allowed them to drag their employment on over the magical 2-year line.
What is the magical 2-year line?
Well, one of few “get out of jail free” cards that we employers have is our ability to let staff go without following a process if they’ve been with us for under two years.
All you have to do is pay their notice period.
No 3-week consultation period, no statutory redundancy pay.
Once you’ve gone over two years, if you want to part company, you’ve got three options:
- Performance disciplinaries (if there is anything concrete to discipline them on)
- Restructuring of the whole department to lose their job (bit extreme)
- Settlement Agreement (effective but expensive)
It is a LOT easier to terminate an employee at any point before the 2 years.
- No process needed
- No right of appeal
- No right to protection from unfair dismissal
Not all the cards are stacked in your favour – all staff are protected from discrimination, at every stage of the employment journey, and if you want to avoid paying the notice period, you will have to do a gross misconduct disciplinary process.
But for employees that aren’t quite right in their attitude or ability, you can just give notice.
Make sure you are really evaluating whether you want to keep any members of staff who are under 2 years service.
The deadline to decide is 1 year and 10 months’ service – at that point, I’d advise you to take a long hard look at whether you want them to stay indefinitely.
If not, give them notice, but do it early enough so that the notice period does not take their service over 2 years.
It could save you a lot of hassle and a fair amount of money!