I have to sack someone

(59 Posts)
GoneScone Sun 08-Nov-20 19:20:13

I have to sack someone this week and I'm freaking out about it. It's wholly deserved, and this person's only worked for us for 8 months and hasn't been pulling their weight since day 1. I just feel awful though - this is the first time I've had to do this and with the 2nd lockdown kicking in this week I feel just awful. Hardly slept this weekend and just feel horrible that I'll be the person responsible for this person being out of a job. Anyone any words of wisdom to impart? Feel horrendous sad

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Pearsapiece Sun 08-Nov-20 19:22:22

You're not responsible for this person being out of a job, they are. If they've been there 8 months, I'm assuming they've had numerous warnings and help with improving their work? If so, they clearly don't care enough to do it. You're teaching them a life lesson. I'm sorry you have to deliver the message

TumbleBingQuack Sun 08-Nov-20 19:23:44

If the person has been underperforming for all that time, they've been told their work isn't acceptable and given chance to improve but haven't, it's not you that is responsible for them being out of a job.

Dismissals are not a nice thing for anyone to have to do, regardless of the reason flowers

SockDrawer Sun 08-Nov-20 19:24:09

Have you had meetings about their work performance before this? So they probably know it’s coming?

Cherry321 Sun 08-Nov-20 19:32:57

Not nice. But not fair on you or the rest of your team to have to work extra hard to compensate for them.

GoneScone Sun 08-Nov-20 19:33:21

I've only been their line manager since end of Sept and to be honest, they've only had gentle 'prods' to get their act together and further training offered. Some major issues have cropped up in the last few weeks which has caused a number of complaints to be put in about them, and various mistakes made which have cost the company money. I've just been in a state of dread all weekend about it...

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InTheLongGrass Sun 08-Nov-20 19:49:46

You need to make sure the official disciplinary process has been followed to the letter.
It's not nice. Be honest with them, expect them to be defensive, and try not to let things escalate - you need to stay calm and factual.
Have a drink waiting for you when you get home tomorrow!

Todaywewilldobetter Sun 08-Nov-20 19:56:14

Spit it out asap. Just say it, explain what happens now and leave it there. No sitting there sympathising or discussing it - won't help and it is disingenuous.
It's not personal. It's not your fault. It IS horrible to do but it won't take very long.
Try not to over think it flowers

SoloMummy Sun 08-Nov-20 20:26:35

Are they on probation? If they are and this hasn't been recorded with smart targets etc and clear formal indicators of poor performance and expected standards, this could be unfair dismissal.
Why have they been allowed to work for 8 minths if so appalling?
Have they been issued a notice regarding the meeting that states dismissal is a possibility?
Have fair investigations into the complaints happened? If not, then I wouldn't be sacking anyone as it will come back to bite you on the bum!

Whenlifegivesyoulimoncello Sun 08-Nov-20 20:28:14

@SoloMummy unlikely as they’ve only been there 8 months.

user17163254865 Sun 08-Nov-20 20:29:04

So they haven't actually been told that their performance is so poor their job is at risk? That's shit.

GoneScone Sun 08-Nov-20 20:31:51

There's zero recourse for unfair dismissal if the person has been employed for less than 2 years, but in any case the events over the last few weeks amount to gross misconduct. It's not ideal, but chances have been given and there's pressure from above. I'm brand new to line management (since Sept) and trust me this is the last thing I want to be doing in the current circumstances - feeling sick at the prospect sad

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bookgirl1982 Sun 08-Nov-20 20:33:00

The best advice I had before I first had to do it is to have a plan for different reactions. So what you will say/do if they shout/cry/say nothing etc.

And know what the plan is after about getting their belongings and leaving the building. Can they say goodbye, are IT ready to close off accounts, do they have ID/phone to return? Have a letter to hand to them. Know what they will get for notice and holiday pay.

CatsOutOfTheBag Sun 08-Nov-20 20:34:15

the place I work always gets this wrong. 90% of the time people do somehting wrong deliberately, then it goes to disiplinery, then the employee gets a payout because the protocol was ot followed. I say this to warn you not to frighten you. Just do it the correct way and do not let them put a grievence in and get a payout

GoneScone Sun 08-Nov-20 20:37:56

Thanks Bookgirl - definitely a good plan to prep for all eventualities. HR will be present armed with all the leaving info. I feel complete shit about it all tbh, but I need to think of the other team members that have had to work harder and longer hours because they've been doing very little

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JeNeComprendsPas Sun 08-Nov-20 20:38:03

Should this person be offered a PIP then interview of concern/letter of concern and then disciplinary all with HR involvement before being fired? I know there's no legal recourse for the employee within 2 years of start date but if that person hasn't had their probation extended or been given more than a gentle prod they may genuinely think they're doing fine?

Coriandersucks Sun 08-Nov-20 20:40:59

Have a list written out of all the things they have done wrong. Take the emotion out of it. Remind yourself that this is their fault and not yours. Will you have someone from hr with you? They should be the ones to actually take the lead.

greenspacesoverthere Sun 08-Nov-20 20:40:59

If it genuinely is a gross misconduct situation then fair enough. Get rid

But if there's any doubt, you could end up looking unprofessional if all the boxes haven't been ticked

MrsWobble3 Sun 08-Nov-20 20:45:26

As a veteran sacker my advice would be to stick to the script. Don’t try and explain, don’t empathise. It is a company decision not yours - you are just delivering it. So be efficient and give no grounds for any hope or expectation that the decision may not be final. And whilst doing all that, if you can, be kind. Good luck - it’s a horrid responsibility.

TerribleCustomerCervix Sun 08-Nov-20 20:46:31

So have the rest of the team been busting their balls, staying late and correcting someone else’s work whilst the offending employee is wafting around in total ignorance of their underperformance?

Why haven’t they been given more than a gentle prod if the issues are so serious?

They might be a bit useless but I feel sorry for them if they think everything’s ticking along well enough and you just hit them with a p45 out of the blue.

SoloMummy Sun 08-Nov-20 20:48:58

If its gross misconduct then there is due process.
Investigation. Evidence. Presenting this. Opportunity to respond. Notice of meeting resulting in dismissal as possibility with opportunity to have representatives.

I would be looking into the acas information.

emmetgirl Sun 08-Nov-20 20:51:33

I've had to sack a few people over the years. It's horrible but I'm afraid it comes with the territory. Deep breath and try and script it as much as you can. Good luck xx

GoneScone Sun 08-Nov-20 20:53:44

I feel sorry for them too, but it's out of my hands. However I wouldn't be too surprised to lose a job if I'd just decided to do very little since working from home most the time since March - and as I've said there has been issues over the last few weeks which amount to gross misconduct. There's zero risk, just very stressful and I feel utterly shit about it.

Thank you MrsWobble - very useful! I think I do need to focus on taking the emotion out of it

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MorvaanReed Sun 08-Nov-20 20:54:43

I've had to do it in my old job, very unpleasant, but necessary.

I found a clip board type folder with a brief summary in bullet points on one side and necessary documents in the other useful. If the persons has a go at you or is dragging irrelevant things into the issue just keep going back to the bullets and keep it calm and polite. I actually found being a bit tired on the day useful, less energy to be nervous with. I found it useful to have details of what they will be paid when to hand. It tended to be what a lot of people focused on but most were expecting it.

Other than that what everyone else said, make sure your procedures are being followed and followed consistently. As they're under two years it should be legally straightforward unless they can argue some sort of discrimination.

GoneScone Sun 08-Nov-20 20:55:53

Solo, I get where you're coming from, but the company I work for knows employment law inside out. Due process is being followed in the circumstances. It's just shit sad

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