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5. Do employers need to give reasons for termination?

Normally, an employer is under no obligation to give reasons for termination.


Many employment contracts provide that either party may give a notice to the other party to terminate the employment without a contractual obligation to give a reason. If so, the employer who exercises the contractual right of termination is not required to give a reason. However, some employers may still wish to give one of the five reasons under section 32K of the Employment Ordinance (see “Unreasonable and Unlawful Termination” for the five reasons) to avoid any claim for unreasonable dismissal under Part VIA of the Employment Ordinance


In the case of summary dismissal, while there is no need to give a reason, employers may in some situations wish to give a reason to demonstrate that the dismissal is justified. Each case is different and there is no hard and fast rule to determine whether it is advisable to give a reason. In case of doubt, employers should seek professional advice before dismissing summarily.