The law can view the dismissal or termination as unfair if you don’t follow the right process. This can lead to stressful and potentially costly consequences from unfair dismissal claims.

Dismissal vs termination

There are different terms to remember surrounding the end of employment contracts. Two terms that many people often get confused with are dismissal and termination. Termination refers to the end, or terminate, an employment contract including dismissal and, redundancy.

The difference between dismissal and redundancy

Dismissal and redundancy are both types of termination, but often refer to different outcomes. It’s important to understand the differences. The different types of termination come with different rights for both parties and compensation for employees.


Dismissal is when an employee’s contract is ended by the employer. This includes redundancy but the redundancy process is different than dismissing someone for misconduct.

The key difference between other types of dismissal and redundancy is whether the employee is let go because of their actions.

In both cases, a fair process should always be followed. Or you could find yourself in hot water.


Redundancies are where a company can no longer afford to pay an employee. It can also refer to where the services provided by the company changes and an employee is no longer required. This could affect just one employee or a few employees.

The differences between the redundancy and dismissal process.

Making both redundancies and dismissals requires you to follow certain steps. These steps are to ensure a fair process is followed.

Redundancy process

You are required to follow the redundancy process as legislated.

This process includes.

  • Creating a business case for redundancy: To explain the need to make redundancies and explore any alternative options. This should be completed before the decision to make redundancies has been agreed.
  • Selecting employees for redundancy: This should include deciding which employees are being considered for redundancy and setting out a fair selection criteria.
  • Holding redundancy consultations: Redundancy consultations are meetings with the employees being considered for redundancy. These meetings should detail the factors being taken into consideration and allow staff to provide feedback.
  • Finalise redundancies: Meet with the affected employees to inform them that you have selected them for redundancy. Provide details of redundancy pay and notice periods and confirm everything in writing.

Redundancy consultations are required for all employees being considered.

Dismissal process

This process of crafting dismissals for a conduct related reason is a lot less prescriptive than redundancies. There are many stages to ensure a fair dismissal process, but you define your own disciplinary procedure.

You should take the following steps to make a fair dismissal:

  • Follow a fair disciplinary procedure.
  • Take notes and gather evidence through a fair investigation.
  • Invite the employee to a disciplinary meeting.
  • Adjourn the meeting to make your decision.
  • Ensure you have a valid reason for the dismissal.
  • Take care not to discriminate.
  • Communicate the outcome to the employee.
  • Remind the employee of their right to appeal.
  • Follow up the meeting in writing.
  • Consider the rest of the business.
  • Stay consistent.

You should provide the dismissal procedure to staff as part of the employee handbook. This makes sure that staff know what is expected of them and is required when making a fair dismissal.

Expert support on redundancy and dismissal

There are a lot of rules and guidance to remember regarding the different ways you can terminate an employee’s contract. Getting it wrong can result in unfair dismissal claims and expensive tribunals.

Let our experienced HR & Legal team help you. We’ll make sure you know the necessary steps and remove the stress from what is an already difficult situation.