(Solution) 5HR01 An explanation of the principles of legislation relating to unfair dismissal in respect of capability and misconduct issues. (AC 3.1)


In the UK, the law is very clear regarding grounds on which employers may dismiss employees. The law outlines five reasons for which dismissal is accepted as fair: contravening statutory obligations, misconduct, redundancy, lack of capability, and any other reason that is deemed substantial (CIPD, 2022). Whatever the reason, employers must be careful enough to ascertain the facts and explore all other alternatives before coming to the conclusion that dismissal is the only option.

Dismissing employee on performance or capability grounds is not an easy/straightforward thing in the UK. There are many reasons that could cause employees to perform below expectations. Sometimes, it could be for health reasons while at other times, unavailability of resources may contribute to below-standard performance. Employers must thus prove that the reason behind poor performance is something within the workers’ control. Additionally, the employer must have invested in employee development, providing learning opportunities to all employees before he/she decides to terminate their employment on capability grounds (CIPD, 2022).

In Saudi Arabia, the provisions are somewhat different. Provided that an employer has notified an employee that the latter’s performance is not satisfactory, the employer may dismiss the employee but only after rewarding/compensating him sufficiently and appropriately (ICLG, 2022). When it comes to dismissal because of misconduct, a line must be drawn between ordinary misconduct and gross misconduct.

The UK law stipulates that employers must provide proof that the alleged misconduct is of the same magnitude as a criminal conduct. Employers must also demonstrate having conducted thorough investigations into the misconduct. During investigations, employees are entitled to bring along relevant persons-work colleagues, trade union officials etc. – to disciplinary hearings (The Acas Guide, 2020). In Saudi Arabia, dismissal due to misconduct is allowed provided that the employer notifies and appropriately compensates employees. Even so, thorough investigations must have been conducted and records of the findings kept in the employee’s private file (ICLG, 2022).

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