How to Say “You’re Fired!” And Make It Stick

Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service Bonus Report

This booklet includes the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of dismissing an employee.
Are you tired of employees who ignore instructions, upset clients, damage your property, miss deadlines, steal  your stock and generally mess up? Defiant, rebellious and hostile workers? Being threatened with the CCMA at every turn? Not knowing your labour law rights? Being unsure how to discipline and dismiss employees? Losing cases at the CCMA, Labour Court and Bargaining Council? Then here's your chance to turn the tables and put yourself in the driving seat!


  • Warning – formal requirements
  • Watch out for variations in labour law
  • Ensuring receipt
  • Periods of notice
  • Letters of notice
  • Protection from dismissal
  • Operations-related notice
  • Retirement
  • Incapacity due to illness or injury
  • Behaviour-related notice
  • Absconders
  • Incompatibility
  • Arrested or imprisoned employees
  • Discrimination-related dismissals
  • General prohibitions
  • Stop! Check if your dismissals are automatically unfair
  • 7 Discipline tips
  • Bargaining councils

Warning – formal requirements

No termination of any type should be given to an employee before the legal procedure, specifically laid out for that type of termination, has first been fully complied with.

You must word the notice letter unambiguously and in a way that leaves no doubt as to your intention, i.e. speak about serving notice when you mean serving notice and not when:

  • You merely intend to suspend an employee from service for a temporary period
  • You're accepting the employee’s decision to terminate his employment
  • You're expressing your frustration at or disapproval of the employee’s unsatisfactory conduct or behaviour
  • You are communicating the possibility that retrenchment may have to be considered

When being dismissed, your employee's legally entitled to be given the reason(s) in writing.