The first thing to note is that dismissing someone is different from making them redundant. Though the consequence is the same – the employee losing their position – the circumstances that bring about the dismissal are not.
Coming to the decision
Ensure that your decision to dismiss someone is entirely justified. Has the employee been performing poorly for an extended period, or are they just going through a rough patch? Could they benefit from additional training? Have you already given them an adequate number of warnings? Have you discussed the situation with a senior member of your team? Did they come to the same conclusion?
When dismissing someone, make sure that there is a witness present. By doing this you are ensuring that someone without an agenda is privy to the conversation. This could be crucial should the terminated party decide to escalate the case further down the line.
Create a list of reasons that back up your decision. This will give you additional clarity, and will prevent you from changing your mind once it has been made up. It’s not always necessary to tell the employee exactly what behaviours have led to them losing their job, simply declaring that they’ve failed to achieve what was expected of them is often enough.
Explain to the individual the terms of the dismissal. Let them know how much severance pay (if any) they’ll be given, and also what other benefits they’ll be entitled to. Put this in writing for additional clarity.
It's also worth giving other staff a basica outline of why the dismissal has taken place.