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How long have you employed the employee?
Hi, employee commenced Saturday 10 October 2009.
Only employees who have been employed for a year are protected against being unfairly dismissed. If the employee has not been employed for a your an employer can dismiss that employee whether you have a good reason or not.
It does not matter that you do not have a contract in writing - you still have a contract with the employee.Provided you serve the correct notice and otherwise do not breach your contract with the employee. Assuming that there are no terms you have agreed with the employee which you have breached then you will be fine, were you to have breached any terms of the contract with the employee then they would be able to sue you for wrongful dismissal under contract law
As to notice it depends if you agreed anything with the employee, but the statutory notice period for an employee employed for less than two years is one week.
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Just one query, if the employee had been with us for one year, would non attendance be acceptable as gross misconduct so we could dismiss starigh away, or what course of action would we have to have taken
Almost certainly not. Gross misconduct is generally reserved for things like theft or divulging trade secrets.
It will be misconduct though and you should follow the disciplinary and dismisall process recommended by ACAS. You can either call them (it's free) or visit their website for details of the process.
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