There must be a good reason for a dismissal and the dismissal must be carried out fairly. Otherwise, the employee may have a personal grievance claim against the employer.
What is fair depends on the circumstances. Any relevant provisions in the employment agreement must be followed. If an employment agreement does not have a notice period, then reasonable notice must be given.
Employees have the right to be told what the problem is and that dismissal or other disciplinary action is a possibility. Employees must then be given a genuine opportunity to tell their side of the story before the employer decides what to do.
The employer should investigate any allegations of misconduct thoroughly and without prejudice. Unless there has been misconduct so serious that it warrants instant dismissal, the employee should be given clear standards to aim for and a genuine opportunity to improve.
If an employee is dismissed, he or she has the right under the Employment Relations Act to ask the employer for a written statement of the reasons for dismissal. This request can be made up to 60 days after they find out about the dismissal. The employer must provide the written statement within 14 days of such a request. If the employer fails to provide this written statement, the employee may consequently be able to raise a grievance after the required 90-day limitation period.There are some different provisions applying to dismissal during a trial period.