In what circumstances will a show cause letter be appropriate?
This letter may be used by employers who consider that there are sufficient grounds to terminate an employee's employment.
These may be due to an employee’s ongoing behavioural or performance issues for which they have received recent and ongoing counselling or guidance, or because the most recent unsatisfactory conduct was of a serious nature (such as theft, assault etc) which would constitute serious misconduct.
In either event, this letter assumes that the employee has already been interviewed and asked to give his/her account of the facts relating to the most recent conduct, and that the employer has not made a final decision to terminate the employment.
Therefore, the purpose of this letter is to inform an employee that, whilst the employer has grounds to dismiss them, he/she is being given an opportunity to show cause as to why action should not be taken to terminate his/her employment.
Other necessary steps before initiating a show cause meeting
If you are unsure of whether an employee’s conduct is sufficient to warrant termination, you should seek specific advice prior to initiating a show cause meeting. Failure to do so may give rise to a number of legal consequences, including unfair dismissal proceedings.
Further information on how to use this document can be found at the 'How to use correspondence' link on the Correspondence page of the HR Advance website.