Navigating the Delicate Process:
How to Dismiss an Employee Professionally and Fairly

Navigating the Delicate Process: How to Dismiss an Employee Professionally and Fairly

Navigating the delicate process of dismissing an employee is a challenging task that requires both professionalism and fairness. Ensuring that the termination is handled appropriately is legally required and essential for maintaining a positive work environment. In this article, we will explore the best practices to dismiss an employee professionally and fairly, while minimizing any negative impact on the individual being let go and the rest of the team.


A crucial aspect of this process is maintaining open and honest communication throughout. By providing clear feedback and allowing the employee to improve, you can ensure that the termination decision is based on objective reasons, not personal bias. Additionally, following the proper procedures, documenting performance issues, and seeking legal advice if necessary will help mitigate any potential legal risks.

Employees are the backbone of any organization, and a well-managed dismissal process can protect the individual and the company’s reputation. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can navigate this delicate process with professionalism and fairness, fostering a positive work culture even in challenging situations.


Remember, dismissing an employee should always be approached with empathy and respect. Let us guide you through the intricacies of this process, ensuring a fair and professional outcome for all parties involved.

Understanding the importance of professional and fair employee dismissal

When dismissing an employee, professionalism and fairness should be at the forefront of your approach. It is crucial to recognize that this process not only affects the individual being let go but also impacts the morale and productivity of the entire team. Mishandling the termination can lead to a negative work culture and damage the reputation of the company. Worse, it can lead to severe financial issues against the employer as an employee is entitled to certain monetary awards in case of illegal dismissal.


To ensure a professional and fair employee dismissal, it is important to have solid reasons for the termination. This may include poor performance, violation of company policies, or behavioral issues that have not improved despite intervention. By having clear and objective reasons, you can approach the dismissal process with transparency and credibility.

Legal considerations when dismissing an employee

Dismissing an employee is a legal process that must adhere to the relevant employment laws and regulations. It is crucial to be familiar with the legal requirements in your jurisdiction to avoid any potential legal consequences.


Before proceeding with the dismissal, reviewing your company’s policies and employment contracts is important. These documents may outline specific procedures to be followed when terminating an employee. Consulting with a legal professional specializing in employment law can provide valuable guidance and ensure compliance with all legal obligations.


It is likewise advisable to review the pertinent laws related to dismissing an employee. The Labor Code of the Philippines provides the legal basis in dismissing an employee. Article 292(b) of the Labor Code of the Philippines provides: 


“292(b):  Subject to the constitutional right of workers to security of tenure and their right to be protected against dismissal except for a just and authorized cause and without prejudice to the requirement of notice under Article 283 of this Code,250 the employer shall furnish the worker whose employment is sought to be terminated a written notice containing a statement of the causes for termination and shall afford the latter ample opportunity to be heard and to defend himself with the assistance of his representative if he so desires in accordance with company rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to guidelines set by the Department of Labor and Employment. Any decision taken by the employer shall be without prejudice to the right of the worker to contest the validity or legality of his dismissal by filing a complaint with the regional branch of the National Labor Relations Commission. The burden of proving that the termination was for a valid or authorized cause shall rest on the employer. The Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment may suspend the effects of the termination pending resolution of the dispute in the event of a prima facie finding by the appropriate official of the Department of Labor and Employment before whom such dispute is pending that the termination may cause a serious labor dispute or is in implementation of a mass layoff”.

Steps to follow in dismissing an employee due to Just Cause

Before making the decision to dismiss an employee, it is important to take certain steps to ensure fairness and explore all possible alternatives. This includes providing clear feedback and allowing the employee to improve. By documenting performance issues and providing the necessary support, you can demonstrate that the dismissal is not a result of personal bias, but rather a fair and objective decision. Further, it is important to consider if there are any alternative options available, such as transferring the employee to a different role or providing additional training. This can help salvage the employment relationship and avoid the need for termination.


That said, here are the steps in dismissing an employee due to Just Cause:



(a) Consult a lawyer. Consulting a lawyer before dismissing an employee is crucial for various reasons. Employment laws are complex and vary, requiring legal expertise to ensure compliance. A lawyer can assess the termination’s legal grounds, review employment contracts for adherence to terms, and minimize the risk of wrongful termination claims. Additionally, they help mitigate discrimination claims, ensure respect for employee rights, and guide employers on proper documentation, reducing legal risks. The lawyer’s input is valuable in crafting fair severance agreements and navigating potential repercussions on company reputation and morale, ultimately facilitating a legally sound and sensitive termination process.



(b) Issue a first written notice to explain to the employee. The first written notice should contain;


  1. The specific causes or grounds for termination as provided for under Article 297 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended, and company policies, if any;
  2. Detailed narration of the facts and circumstances that will serve as the basis for the charge against the employee. A general description of the charge will not suffice; and
  3. A directive that the employee is given the opportunity to submit a written explanation within a reasonable period. ‘Reasonable period” Should be construed as a period of at least five (5) calendar days from receipt of the notice to give the employee an opportunity to study the accusation, consult or be represented by a lawyer or union officer gather data and evidence, and decide on the defenses against the complaint.

(c) After serving the first notice. the employer should afford the employee ample opportunity to be heard and to defend himself/herself with the assistance of his/her representative if he/she so desires, as provided in Article 299 (b) of the Labor Code, as amended.


(d) Issue a Written Notice of Dismissal. After determining that termination of employment is justified, the employer shall serve the employee a written notice of dismissal indicating that: (1) all circumstances involving the charge against the employee have been considered and (2) the grounds have been established to justify the severance of their employment.

Communicating the decision to the employee

Once the decision to dismiss an employee has been made, it is crucial to communicate the decision clearly and compassionately. This conversation should be conducted in a private and confidential setting, ensuring the employee’s dignity is maintained throughout the process.


During the conversation, it is important to provide a detailed explanation of the reasons for the dismissal. This allows the employee to understand the situation and help them accept the decision more easily. Feedback and constructive criticism can also help the employee learn from the experience and improve their prospects.

Conducting the dismissal meeting

During the administrative proceedings, a dismissal meeting is recommended to be conducted professionally and respectfully. It is important to have a witness present during the meeting to ensure transparency and to avoid any potential misunderstandings or disputes.


It is crucial to remain calm and composed during the meeting, even if the employee becomes emotional or confrontational. Stick to the facts and ensure that the conversation remains focused on the reasons for the dismissal. Avoid personal attacks or negative comments that can further escalate the situation.

Handling the aftermath of the dismissal

After the dismissal, handling the aftermath with care and sensitivity is important. Communicate the departure to the rest of the team respectfully and professionally, ensuring that confidentiality and privacy are maintained. Avoid disclosing specific details about the dismissal unless absolutely necessary.


It is also important to review and update any relevant documentation, such as employment contracts, policies, and procedures, to prevent similar situations in the future. Learning from the experience and improving employee management can help create a more positive work environment moving forward.

Ensuring confidentiality and privacy during the process

Throughout the entire dismissal process, it is essential to prioritize confidentiality and privacy. This includes keeping the reasons for the termination confidential and only sharing information on a need-to-know basis. Respecting the privacy of the employee being dismissed is ethical and protects their professional reputation.


It is also important to securely store any documentation relating to the dismissal, ensuring that access is restricted to authorized personnel only. This helps maintain the process’s integrity and protects the company from potential legal risks.

Conclusion: Ensuring the validity of a dismissal

In conclusion, ensuring the legal compliance of employee dismissals through consultation with a lawyer is paramount for safeguarding both employers and employees. Adhering to labor laws and regulations not only mitigates the risk of legal challenges, such as wrongful termination or discrimination claims, but it also fosters a fair and transparent work environment. By seeking legal guidance, employers can navigate the complexities of termination procedures, understand employee rights, establish clear documentation, and protect themselves from potential damages resulting from illegal dismissal. This proactive approach not only helps maintain the employer’s reputation, employee morale, and overall organizational stability but also upholds ethical standards in employment practices

How Ricasio Law can assist you?​

Ricasio Law is a law firm in the Philippines and an expert in Labor Law and Employment Law. Our team of Law and Employment Law experts can give you useful advice and help you figure out the best thing to do. Get in touch with us right away to talk about your case and let us help you prepare and review a Deed of Sale.

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