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Being dismissed from your job is never going to be a pleasant experience and, as you’ll find out in this post, there are a number of different reasons which could be the trigger for an untimely exit.
The harsh reality of business is that employees are dismissed from their jobs on a regular basis. That being said, companies will rarely fire one of their employees without just cause – or at least what is claimed to be a just cause.
Employers need to make sure that they avoid having to deal with unfair dismissal law in Ireland or the UK by only dismissing one of their employees due to specific behaviours or actions that can be supported with evidence.
So, what are the most common reasons that could lead to dismissal from your job? We’ll be answering that very question in the following post. To find out more, read on below!
10 Common Reasons That Can Lead to Dismissal
What constitutes ‘misconduct’ will differ from business to business, and a lot of actions can fall into this category. Generally, misconduct will refer to unethical, or criminal behaviour, that will leave your employer with no choice other than to dismiss you.
Sexual harassment, workplace bullying, violence and health and safety breaches are all examples of misconduct which employers take incredibly seriously. If you’re found guilty of misconduct, you run the risk of being dismissed without notice.
2. Alcohol or Drug Abuse
Turning up to work intoxicated is only going to end in tears. It goes without saying, but you’re never going to be able to perform your duties to the best of your abilities like this. In some cases, the substances that you have used may even be illegal.
Some employers perform random drugs and alcohol tests on their employees, such as if they operate heavy pieces of machinery. Failing to pass one of these tests could lead to a suspension, or in the worst-case scenario, dismissal.
3. Damaging Company Property
Accidentally damaging company property (such as a temperamental printer) shouldn’t lead to a dismissal, but intentionally damaging company property will.
The more expensive the item of company property is, the more likely damaging it is likely to lead to dismissal. For example, if you smash the window of a company car, the repercussions are likely to be severe!
4. Using Company Property for Personal Use
If you’re found to have used company property for your own personal use, this could provide grounds for your dismissal.
Of course, this will be completely context-dependent. Using a company laptop to do some online shopping won’t be treated as seriously as using a company car to travel across the country to go on holiday, and employers will usually vary their punishment accordingly.
5. Stealing from the Company
Stealing is illegal, which means, unsurprisingly, it’s also a fireable offence. Stealing could relate to physical items that are stored in the office (such as supplies, and IT equipment), or it could be something intangible like company funds.
You may have previously heard of the term embezzlement. This is where an employee or someone in a trusted position steals from your business, using the money and other assets for their own use, implying that white-collar crime has taken place.
6. Falsifying Company Records
Someone might deliberately falsify company records for a number of reasons. For example, they may alter their timecards to indicate that they have worked more hours than they actually have, alter their sales records or produce a false inventory list.
It should go without saying, that this sort of behaviour is unethical and will negatively affect a business’s operations – including its cash flow and revenue. It should come as no surprise to learn that companies will usually dismiss anyone producing false records or altering existing ones.
7. Unexplained Absence
Absence from work is often unavoidable. If you’re sick, or you’ve been injured, then your employer should allow having some time off so you can fully recover.
Unexplained, or unsupported, absence from work, doesn’t go down so well with employers. If you’re taking weeks off of work at a time, claiming to be ill, then you’ll usually need to provide some form of evidence to support your case.
8. Violating Company Policy or Contracts
Every company has a unique set of policies, all of which will be clearly outlined in the employment contract you sign before starting work. The consequences for breaching specific policies should be clearly explained and will give the employer the power to carry out a dismissal if they see fit.
You should always carefully read through your employment contract before you start a new job. Just because you were able to carry out certain actions at a previous job, certainly doesn’t mean you’ll be able to act in the same manner at your new job.
9. Repeated Insubordination
This isn’t to say you can’t respectfully disagree with your superiors from time to time. But if you’re consistently ignoring instructions and orders, and that’s getting in the way of you completing your job, it could lead to your dismissal.
To avoid this from happening, it’s probably best to speak to another superior if you find yourself butting heads on a consistent basis. You may find that your actions are justified, but you’ll need the backing of someone else in the company.
10. Poor Job Performance
No matter what job you have, you’ll be expected to uphold certain standards. If you’re not fulfilling the duties that are outlined in your job description, you could be on the chopping block.
Fair employers won’t immediately fire you just because you’re falling short of what’s expected of you. After all, they hired you for a reason. It’s more common for an employer to give you a warning and work alongside you to help improve your standard of work, rather than dismissing you straight away.
Are You Worried About Being Dismissed from Your Job?
In this post, we’ve outlined 10 of the most common reasons why you might be dismissed from your job. Of course, this doesn’t cover all possible reasons – the list of potential reasons is endless.
Have you got more questions or concerns related to dismissal? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!
You may also like: Employment Law: 9 Reasons You Could Be Guilty of Unfair Dismissal