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Jeremy Clarkson should have paid attention to this HR expert's top reasons for not renewing an employment contract

by , 26 March 2015
The world is in uproar.

This after the BBC confirmed yesterday that Top Gear presenter, Jeremy Clarkson's career with them has indeed come to an end.

The TV station has chosen not to renew Clarkson's employment contract following his unprovoked physical attack on a Top Gear producer. Director General, Tony Hall finished his statement by saying that "a line has been crossed" and he "cannot condone what has happened on this occasion".

And that's just the thing isn't it.

Sometimes, you simply can't condone an employee's actions.

If he's on contract or probation, this may leave you wondering if hiring him is something you really want to do.

And while good reasons not to include unresolvable disciplinary and performance issues, they're not the only reasons why you might need to give someone the boot, says HR expert, Susan Heathfield. And if you're in the early days of a probation contract, you need to think of them before you're stuck with a 'problem employee' you can't get rid of.

Here's what she classifies as good reasons to fire an employee.

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Deciding to terminate an employment contract – not always as cut and dry as 'poor performance'

Heathfield sites these additional unresolvable reasons to get rid of an employee: 
#1: Lack of integrity
If an employee lacks integrity and you've caught him out on repeated lies or underhanded actions, it chips away at your trust.
Once an employee establishes lying – whether outright or by omission – as a pattern of behaviour, it's time to let him go.
After all, says Heathfield: 'It is not your job to follow him around, check up with others to make sure his story is true, or seek out details that he may not be sharing.'
#2: Just not a good fit
'Yes, diverse approaches, thoughts, experience, and background are what keep work interesting, innovation strong, and the business profitable. But, a fundamental set of shared values is the glue that binds employees together in productive teams and work groups,' she writes. 
If your employee demonstrates that she doesn't fit your culture, it doesn't bode well. You'll clash and it will set up a dynamic neither of you enjoys. 
#3: He's unethical
'Every company has the right to expect its employees to act ethically and in the way defined in company policies and the code of conduct. This includes such behaviours as accepting gifts from vendors as company policy dictates, developing relationships with customers as policy allows, and treating co-workers as equals and with respect.'
If an employee who's on probation doesn't respect this, it should result in you terminating his employment contract. .If you don't, it will breed cynicism and ill will. The very opposite of the spirit and culture you want to offer employees at work.
Viewed this way, it starts to make a lot of sense why the BBC took such a hard line with Clarkson and why you might need to do it with one of your employees too. 

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