While it may be tempting to do a Lord Sugar and bark “You’re fired!” whilst jabbing your finger at an employee you’d be glad to see the back of, employees do actually have a right to be informed in writing of the reasons why they have been dismissed.

Employees eligible for this written statement are those who have worked for their employer for at least two continuous years and have made a request for the statement.

This applies whether the employee was dismissed with notice or without notice.

Does the request have to be in writing?

There is no statutory obligation for this request to be in writing, but many employers will ask the employee to do so.

Do all employees have to make a request for this written statement?

In some cases, the employee does not even have to ask for the written statement detailing the reasons for dismissal. This is the case if an employee is dismissed while they are pregnant or on maternity leave. The written statement must be provided to these employees regardless of whether the employee has the qualifying length of service or if they have made a request.

What should the written statement contain?

The written statement should contain enough information for the employee to understand why they were dismissed.

How long do you have to respond to the employee’s request?

Once an employee has requested the written statement, the employer must respond within 14 days.

What happens if an employer does not provide a written statement?

If an employer unreasonably fails to provide this written statement or provides untrue or inadequate reasons for dismissal, the employee can lodge a claim at an Employment Tribunal.

To discuss this further or to obtain advice on dismissal, seek legal advice from an Employment Law Adviser.

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