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How to dismiss bad staff: expert’s advice on Aston Business School’s latest podcast

A leading employment expert at Aston Business School has recorded a set of top tips for bosses on how to dismiss bad staff.

Kathy Daniels was speaking in the latest edition of ‘Aston means business’, a new podcast series where Aston’s top academics provide essential advice to business leaders, entrepreneurs and students.

This latest podcast episode was released on Tuesday 19 November and discusses the importance of investigations, evidence and following processes for anyone considering dismissing staff, even in cases of gross misconduct.

In other cases where staff are simply underperforming, Kathy underlined the importance of bosses not immediately considering “How can I dismiss this person?” but to instead start by asking “How can we help this employee to improve?”

This, she explained, was the right way to follow the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service’s (ACAS) code of practice, which insists that employers must act reasonably and fairly, making sure they listen to and understand the employee’s perspective.

Kathy said this was particularly important if staff members are suffering from serious illnesses or disabilities, as the law requires companies and organisations to make “reasonable adjustments” to help them.

However, Kathy added: “If an employer has made reasonable adjustments and there is no improvement, they are not required to do more and more.

“If such adjustments do not work and this means the job just won’t get done, it’s very sad but there is that balance, and if there’s no more you can do you will have to go through the dismissal process.”

Summarising her advice to businesses, Kathy stressed: “The end goal should always be improving an employee’s performance, rather than dismissing them.

“But if dismissal is the only answer, it’s important to keep thorough records on all processes from investigations to warnings and to show you’ve been reasonable at all stages.”

Kathy was interviewed by ‘Aston means business’ presenter Steve Dyson, a business journalist and former daily newspaper editor who has previously presented dozens of regional programmes for BBC’s HARDtalk series.

Professor George Feiger, the Executive Dean of Aston Business School, said: “This latest podcast touches on the most sensitive aspect of any business’s relationship with staff – how do I go about dismissing them if they are no good.”

“The advice that comes out of the interview is valuable, practical and will be extremely useful for any business, large or small. This is exactly what ‘Aston means business’ is aiming to do: to use the modern and far-reaching medium of podcasting to provide business leaders with essential advice.”

Professor Feiger said future podcasts will continue exploring the latest insights from Aston Business School’s finance, industry, legal and economic experts to help top entrepreneurs and rising corporate stars grow their businesses with a real competitive edge.

He added: “Our ‘Aston means business’ podcasts are designed to get people thinking about how they can improve their revenues and profits, tackle difficult challenges and make the most of new opportunities.

“The podcasts will also show prospective students from the UK and abroad the wide range of expertise we have, and how their future careers can be enriched with the knowledge they can gain from studying at Aston Business School.”

The ‘Aston means business’ podcast can be listened to on Aston’s website at: http://www.aston.ac.uk/podcasts and are also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Deezer, Google Play Music and a number of other services.