What is HR's Role in Employee Termination? - PerformHR

While organisations rarely want to dismiss an employee, from time to time it may be necessary. In the case that you do need to carry out an employee termination, you’ll want to have a HR representative present at any and all meetings and to help guide the process. But why is this the case 

The role of Human Resources in employee termination

Put simply, the right HR professional can guide the process of how to terminate an employee, ensure the correct steps are in place, and minimise the risk of potential fallout should the employee believe they were unfairly dismissed. 

The only reason you can dismiss an employee without notice in Australia is for serious misconduct such as fraud, theft, violence and serious breaches in safety. For all other grounds to terminate an employee, there will be certain provisions and rules regarding notice, dismissal and entitlements to be aware of.

Involving HR from beginning to end

If the issue is regarding an employee’s poor performance HR should be closely involved from the moment the issue is first identified, as HR will be able to assist with the necessary structured performance reviews and formally supplied feedback. performance improvement plan (PIP), for example, can give the employee the appropriate time and opportunity to respond and improve their performance.

Should the matter come to either dismissal of the employee or resignation by the employee, these matters must be handled accurately and professionally. HR will ideally provide an invaluable neutral third party to shape the conversation in a constructive and reasonable way, explain the reasons for a dismissal, and clearly explain the next steps forward for both parties.

Should the employee feel they’ve been dismissed from their role in a harsh, unjust or unreasonable manner, then the HR professional will ideally have clear documentation which can service as evidence. 

Where outsourced HR comes into the picture

An outsourced HR provider can offer a number of benefits when it comes to employee relations. You can expect:

  • A truly impartial third party – there’s no chance of bias or office favouritism involved;
  • A refined termination framework with the correct structure in place, led by an experienced team; and
  • A team that’s truly up-to-date on compliance matters, to ensure everything is done by the book. 

End-to-end management of the issue is also possible. For example, if there’s an accusation of misconduct we can assist with an impartial workplace investigation to identify what actually happened; help you to handle the employee termination procedure if this is the right outcome; and document the process accurately to minimise the grounds for any unfair dismissal claims. Our specialists can also then provide a workplace review to identify and resolve any overarching issues, as well as training to help you get the best out of your team.

Employment termination can at times be an unpleasant, but necessary part of business. Professional and well-informed HR professionals can be an essential part of this process to ensure everyone walks away feeling fairly treated and well informed.

“An outsourced HR provider can offer a number of benefits when it comes to employee relations.”

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