If your employer wants to dismiss you, he or she must have a fair reason. This could be something to do with

  • Your conduct;
  • Your capability to do the job or your qualifications;
  • A redundancy situation;
  • A legal reason why your employment can’t continue; or
  • Some other substantial reason.

‘Some other substantial reason’ is a catch-all to allow an employer to dismiss when none of the other potentially fair reasons apply. Whether something is ‘some other substantial reason’ will depend on the facts of the case. It can’t be something insignificant or trivial. ‘Some other substantial reason’ could include:

  • Where there is a personality clash which means that employees cannot work together
  • Where there is a conflict of interest for the employer to keep employing the employee
  • Where your employer wants to change your terms and conditions, and you don’t want to accept the new terms
  • Where there is pressure from a third party (e.g. a client says that they will not work with the employer unless the employee is dismissed)

Remember, too, that it’s not just about a fair reason for dismissal – your employer must act reasonably in treating ‘the reason’ as a reason for dismissal and follow a proper process before dismissing you. It may be that there are alternatives to dismissal, depending on the size and resources of the employer.

Generally, if you are dismissed for ‘some other substantial reason’ then you are likely to be paid your notice, unlike with a Gross Misconduct Dismissal when notice pay is not usually paid.

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