5 Fair Reasons for Dismissal
When dismissal occurs, it is complicated for everyone involved. There are many different reasons why dismissal can occur and various circumstances. Many dismissed employees take their employers to tribunal and this is where it gets complicated as these cases are judged on the facts, so when we look at the facts of individual cases we could find different results.
What are the legally recognised 5 fair reasons for Dismissal in the UK?
- Conduct – Behaviours of which are at odds with the company code of conduct and or culture of the business. This could include but not limited to insubordination, theft, discrimination, high absence (not disability related), failure to follow management requests etc
- Capability – This could be medically related or performance-based. If an employee is unable to carry out the role for which they are principally employed and there is no scope for reasonable adjustments, then an employer may fairly dismiss an employee on medical capability grounds. Further, an employee who may be trying as hard as possible and have been given more than adequate training to improve their performance but regardless of this still fails to meet a satisfactory standard may still be dismissed fairly.
- Redundancy – This would be a fair reason for dismissal if an employer can reasonably show there is a lack of or cessation of work, a site closure or business closure.
- SOSR – Some Other Substantial Reason – While SOSR literally stands for “Some Other Substantial Reason” the main reason this termination reason is invoked is due to “third party pressure” e.g. a cleaner is assigned to clean an external site and the owner of that site requests said cleaner not return. In the event, alternative work cannot be found the cleaner would likely be dismissed for “Some Other Substantial Reason”
- Statutory Restriction- Most commonly a HGV driver loses their licence to drive a HGV for their employer. In the event, no alternative can be found an employer can rightly terminate an employee due to their not having a licence to meet a statutory requirement i.e. to have a licence to drive a HGV.
While an employer can use these reasons to terminate employees, a tribunal (if escalated) would decide whether the process was fair. The tribunal would determine whether the employee was unfairly selected or rightfully dismissed. Therefore, it is vital that an employer take thorough professional advice should they feel that any of the above terminations may take place in the future. In this case, HR advice and guidance is necessary for a business.
NORI HR and Employment Law can help. Our range of HR services takes the pressure of staff grievances away, outlines gaps in your current HR processes and you receive quality 24/7 advice.