Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

Is a bad attitude grounds for termination?

Let's face it: a bad attitude isn't going to do your career any favours. In fact, it could even bring your career to a stabdstill.

In some cases a bad attitude is grounds for terminating a contract in the UK - if that attitude leads to poor performance or affecting the work of others. Whether you're an employer or employee, knowing your rights helps make sure you don't fall foul of employment law before a termination.


Grounds for termination in the UK include not getting along with colleagues, failing to keep up with important changes in your role, or simply not doing your job properly. All of these could fairly be grouped under "bad attitude."

But, as a single reason for dismissal, your employer can't simply say "bad attitude." They must prove that the attitude is somehow having a detrimental effect on your job or those around you.


No matter how bad the attitude of a staff member, an employer must follow the right dismissal procedures. According to The Law Donut, that means following the Acas Code of Practice on discipline at work.

This includes writing an official warning to the employee, offering the chance of appeal and giving clear reasons for a dismissal. Not following these codes can lead to tribunals and compensation for unfair dismissal - a potentially costly and damaging process.


Employment law in the UK mainly protects people with more than a year's service at a particular company.

If you've been in your job for less than a year, then your employer is not obliged to give written reasons for your dismissal.

Someone with fewer than 12 months' service also doesn't have the right to take the case to an employment tribunal. So, in the case of a recently hired employee, a bad attitude can effectively be grounds for dismissal, as the employer doesn't need to provide an official reason.

Bad attitude

If you feel you're being unfairly accused of having a bad attitude, try to discuss these issues with your manager or HR department. Sometimes, problems at work arise because of personality clashes or a conflict of working styles. One man's bad attitude is another man's focused work mindset. If you take the time to discuss any criticisms when they first appear, then you're less likely to find yourself without a job for a bad attitude.