Managing exits – ending difficult employment relationships

In this seminar EEF’s HR and legal experts roll up their employment law sleeves and tackle the nuts and bolts of successfully exiting employees in difficult circumstances.

Most employee issues can be resolved successfully if employers are able to intervene quickly enough and nip potential problems in the bud. However, inevitably there will be situations where the continued employment of certain individuals is harmful to the business. Maybe they absorb disproportionate amounts of management time or their actions or attitude routinely upset colleagues and undermine morale? But what if there is no obvious reason for dismissal? Situations can be even more complicated when an employee’s protected status or disposition means you are even more likely to have a fight on your hands. 

Drawing on our collective HR and legal experience and expertise and with the help of case study scenarios we will explore the tactical and practical options when seeking to end employment in some of the more challenging employment situations, including:

  • The poor performer with previous good appraisals
  • The ‘impossible’ employee who falls out with everyone
  • The process hijacker – who tries to derail any management action with sick-notes and grievances
  • The apprentice who just doesn’t seem to ‘get it’
  • The ‘untouchables’ - employees who have protected characteristics

What are an employer’s options? Should you play it by the book or is there potential to go ‘off -the-record’ to expedite matters, or, is the best strategy to combine the two approaches? In this seminar we will examine what should influence your strategies and choice of route.

Who should attend?

This seminar will assume a basic working knowledge of the basics of employment law and some HR/employee management experience. It is aimed at:

  • HR Managers
  • Operation directors and Line managers who have responsibility for HR operations and employee management
  • Owner-managers
  • Members and Non members

Why attend?

  • Understand the real levels of legal risk involved when managing employees out of your business
  • Explore potential strategies for achieving ‘successful exits’ in difficult circumstances
  • Hear our top tips on using mediation to secure agreed departures
  • Network with peers and share experiences and best practices ideas gained from the difficult and challenging task of exiting employees


(slight variations to timings may apply – see joining instructions)  

09.00 - 9.30

 Registration, coffee and networking


Welcome and introductions

Setting the scene – the legal back-drop

We will identify the key legal restraints and potential pitfalls when ending individual employment relationships. What are the biggest risks – claims of unfair dismissal, discrimination, harassment?

10.00 -10.45

The Employer’s tools

What does ‘due process’ look like? We also look at current state of play in relation to pre-termination discussions, without prejudice negotiations and settlement agreements/agreed departures?

What should influence your choice of route? How do you spot and exploit opportunities to potentially ‘expedite’ a departure?


The underperformers

  • The underperforming employee with previous good appraisals
  • The stuck in the mud manager who refuses to ‘take the hint’

11.30 -11.45   


11.45  - 12.30

“It’s not us – it’s you!” – The ‘difficult’ characters

  • The impossible employee who falls out with everyone
  • The employee who tries to derail the process with grievance and sick notes

12.30 -1.15



1.15 – 2.00

The mediator’s insight

  • Top-tips - effective use of mediation techniques when exiting employees
  • The best way to diffuse hostile situations?

2.00 – 2.45     

The Untouchables?’

Exiting employees who have special protection

  • Protected characteristic under the Equality Act
  • Apprentices

2.45  - 3.00  


3.00 – 3.30   

Gone – but not forgotten’

We will highlight some potential post termination issues for consideration

What is the potential role of ACAS conciliation in avoiding subsequent litigation, legal obligations in respect of references and managing internal communications

Wash-up and Q&As

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