In most cases, you will need to give the employee at least two formal warnings before dismissing them for misconduct or poor performance. You may need to give more warnings depending on your employment contracts or HR procedures. Consider using a Disciplinary outcome letter for misconduct or a Poor performance outcome letter to issue a first or final written warning.
Warnings for misconduct or poor performance should be given only after you’ve held a formal meeting to discuss the issue. Consider using an Invitation letter to a misconduct hearing or an Invitation letter to a poor performance hearing to arrange this formal meeting. Read First steps in a disciplinary process for some suggestions on dealing with instances of misconduct or poor performance. In the case of poor performance, carefully consider what support and additional training is reasonable to give the employee in achieving the necessary standard. You will need to do more to help long-standing staff, where standards are being raised generally or where a change to the role is contributing to the issue.
If you decide it’s necessary to summarily dismiss an employee without notice or payment in lieu of notice for gross misconduct, and you have held a disciplinary hearing to consider the matter, you can use a Summary dismissal letter for gross misconduct. Similarly, in truly exceptional cases, where the consequences of repetition of an error are very serious, it may be possible for a single instance of poor performance to amount to gross incompetence.