Staff that do not get on with each other create a real headache for employers. Productivity is slowed down. Staff morale is low. Management time is wasted on dealing with smoothing the waters.

This issue is a significant and common problem. Many employer clients seek my assistance on this issue as they become exasperated with what to do about the problem.

The Employment Relations Authority accepts that a clash of personalities between an employer and employee, or between two employees, may make on going employment unworkable. However, for a dismissal in such a situation to be justified, an employer must show there has been serious disharmony, and that the dismissed employee is substantially responsible for this disharmony.

Further, before ending employment, the employer must follow a fair and reasonable process. A fair process would include an attempt by the employer to remedy the relationship as far as reasonable in the circumstances and considering the particular work environment. Such attempts may include training, facilitation, mediation, counselling and/or the introduction of a Code of Conduct.

Where, after such efforts, an employer believes that the employment relationship has become or remains irreconcilable, and where that this is largely caused by a particular employee, a formal process raising the issue of incompatibility may well be appropriate.

Employers are not expected to continue employing an employee where the working relationship has become unsustainable through an employee’s actions.

If you have any employment queries that you would like assistance with, please contact us.

This article is intended as a point of reference and should not be relied on as a substitute for professional advice. Specialist advice should always be sought in relation to any particular circumstances and no liability will be accepted for any losses incurred by those relying solely on this article.