Sir Alan Sugar may get a buzz out of it, but most of us look forward to telling someone they are out of a job as much as we relish the thought of an afternoon's root canal work.
We all hate doing it - but that does not mean it can be avoided. So what are the do's and don'ts?
>> Remember that the employee has the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or colleague. This is an area where sticking to the rule book is essential.
>> 'A fair and proper procedure must be followed, and since the dispute resolution regulations came into force, all employers must follow at least a three-step procedure which gives the employee a right to reply to allegations and a chance to appeal against any decision,' says Chidi King, employment rights officer in the equalities and employment rights department at the Trades Union Congress.
>> If gross misconduct is the problem, make sure that every procedure has been followed, and thoroughly investigate the allegations. Provided you have done this, the employee might be summarily dismissed once the process is complete.
>> In most circumstances be as helpful as you can. If collective redundancies are being made, consult with both unions and staff, and build in time off for staff to look for a new job. After all, these are uncertain times in the public sector - and one day the person searching the situations vacant columns could be you.