Dissatisfied Client? How To Lawfully Dismiss a Temporary Worker

“The worker you have placed is not living up to expectations...”

No recruiter wants to receive a call from their client to say that the candidate they have placed has made a mistake, or is generally performing poorly and is no longer wanted on site. After all, time and money was spent on finding a candidate that was the perfect fit.

However if this situation does occur then there are certain steps which should be taken in order to lawfully dismiss the candidate.

Giving Notice

Generally, a worker or their employer is required to give a period of notice before terminating a contract. For temporary workers this notice period tends to be quite short, however they are entitled to a statutory minimum of one weeks’ notice for continuous employment of more than one month.

Notice should ideally be given in writing and recorded on file. This way, the date of termination can be evidenced if necessary.

You’re Fired!

We sometimes hear of candidates being sacked “on the spot” rather than being given appropriate notice. “Sacking on the spot” is often not permitted and usually constitutes wrongful dismissal for which the candidate can bring to an employment tribunal claim.

If an employee simply cannot remain on site, an alternative is to offer Gardening Leave. This is where a departing employee is not required to attend work during their notice period. During this time they technically remain an employee but do not perform services.

Gross Misconduct

The only exception to giving notice is if the dismissal is in response to an action by the candidate which constitutes gross misconduct.

Gross Misconduct is behaviour by the employee which is deemed bad enough that it merits instant dismissal. This can include, but is not limited to the following;

  • Intoxication
  • Bullying/ Abuse or Violence
  • Dishonesty
  • Theft
  • Gross Insubordination

We are told by the Agencies who use our service that it can be tricky to dismiss a contractor, particularly if the client wants nothing further to do with them. If you come across this situation yourself, remember that simply terminating the contract will not constitute a breach of contract, nor will it necessarily give rise to a claim at an Employment Tribunal.  You should however make a conscious effort to terminate the contract as per the terms and conditions of that contract, and other statutory rules.

For further information or to discuss a set of circumstances in particular, you can contact our legal department by emailing your query to emmafowler@tbos.co.uk or calling on 0845 881 112.

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