Ending the Employment Relationship

Getting it right

How the Employment Relationship is ended

Broadly speaking the Employment relationship can be ended for the following reasons:
  • Dismissal
  • Redundancy
  • Resignation

Employee Dismissal

Employees are dismissed for a number of reasons including:
  • Misconduct: appropriate processes must be followed before the employment relationship can be brought to an end. It should be noted that different processes apply to situations involving serious misconduct to general misconduct.
  • Substandard performance: the staff member should be carefully and collaboratively performance managed or trained before a solid dismissal can take place.
  • Incapacity: although there is no expectation to keep a position open forever, the issue must be handled with care and appropriate processes must be followed.
Incompatibility: where there are irreconcilable differences between the parties to the employment relationship.

Redundancy & Restructuring

Redundancy involves terminating one or more roles in the business - not particular staff members. There needs to be substantial and justifiable reasons for the redundancy and a proper process followed with the staff.


Resignations from Employees are usually done by giving a written notice to the Employer in accordance with the terms stipulated and agreed upon in the Employment Agreement.

It should be noted that just because an Employee resigns it does not necessarily preclude the Employer from liability. Very often it is seen that the Employee feels they have no choice but to resign and claim constructive dismissal.

Constructive dismissal defined:

Constructive dismissal is when the Employer pressures the Employee to resign from their position. This includes situations where:
  • The Employer gives the Employee a choice between resigning and being fired;
  • The Employer embarks on such conduct with the purpose of coercing the Employee to resign; or
  • Where the Employer’s breach of a duty leads the Employee to resign. Although not every breach is so serious that it can sufficiently justify a claim for constructive dismissal.
Employees who believe that they have grounds for constructive dismissal may raise a personal grievance against the Employer and, if proven, can be costly for the Employer.

The above is intended to be general information on the subject matter not as an indepth or exhaustive article and should not be treated as such. Please contact us on 0800 15 8000 to discuss your situation before acting.