Letting people go: off the record

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Confidential discussions about an employee's performance have to be handled carefully - or could backfire. Employment lawyer Ann Bevitt looks at the issues.

As an employer, you may sometimes want to talk to your employees "off the record". For example, you may have an employee who has been performing poorly recently. Ideally, you do not want to go through any performance improvement procedure but you are prepared to pay him to leave. You decide to have a chat "off the record". If he takes the deal, great.

If he doesn't, well, you can always follow the correct procedure and no harm done, right? Wrong: in fact, you could land yourself in a lot of trouble.

Trap No.1: Constructive Unfair Dismissal

Make sure that your discussion could not be construed as a threat to dismiss the emplo...

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