Other acceptable reason

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The Employment Rights Act 1996 (the ‘ERA’) limits the grounds on which you can lawfully dismiss an employee. The ERA provides four reasonably clear reasons for a fair dismissal: capability or qualifications; misconduct; redundancy; statutory restriction.

But reasons for dismissal can be diverse and unexpected. That’s why the ERA also says you can dismiss for ‘some other substantial reason’. This gives scope to dismiss an employee for a reason that does not neatly fit with the other four reasons. However, the term has been interpreted narrowly by employment tribunals and courts, and only a few scenarios have been confirmed as lawfully falling within this category.

If you face a scenario that does not neatly fit with the other four reasons provided, it may well be wise to seek a legal view on your particular situation. You should certainly ensure that you gather sufficient evidence, that the procedure is as fair as possible, and that if there is a disciplinary element to the dismissal, you also follow your disciplinary procedure.

We recommend using our guides as your starting point and to set helpful context for the way in which the templates and other documents can be used. If you’re ever unsure about how to use any of our materials, just get in touch on the contact details below.


The content on elXtr has been prepared by LHS Solicitors. It’s intended as guidance only and not to be regarded as a substitute for consultation with one of our solicitors, since every case will ultimately turn on its own particular facts and circumstances. We recommend that you use our materials as your starting point and be aware that you sometimes have to follow a set procedure before taking any action, especially in an employment context. If you are in any doubt, we’d suggest that you get in touch with us and we’ll talk you through your options on how to get the right legal advice.

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