Home - Can we dismiss someone who is a poor cultural fit?
January 13, 2020 on chapter Discrimination

We hired a new employee 3 months ago who, while performing their duties well, is not a good cultural fit in the workplace. Can we dismiss them for this reason? If so, what do we write for this in the employment termination letter?

It depends what you mean by ‘cultural fit’. The employee will not have met the eligibility for an unfair dismissal claim, but you still cannot dismiss an employee for reasons of age, race, gender, religious belief or political belief (among others). If you just cite ‘cultural fit’ as a reason for dismissal, the employee may bring a discrimination claim against you, asserting they were dismissed for one of these prohibited reasons.

You need to assess the likelihood of this occurring as well as your ability to defend a potential claim (i.e. you have evidence, of which the termination letter will form part, that the termination was for a reason other than the protected attribute). It is always best to cite valid, performance or conduct-based reasons in the employment termination letter.

We suggest you seek specific legal advice before terminating the employee’s employment.

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