What are the five potentially fair reasons to dismiss someone?

Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, there are five potentially fair reasons for dismissal, which are: 

  1. Capability or qualifications; 
  2. Redundancy; 
  3. Conduct (for example, the employee has stolen from the employer or shown violence); 
  4. Breach of a statutory duty or restriction; and
  5. Some other substantial reason. For example, a personality clash between employees that makes it impossible for them to work together.

There is a degree of overlap within these examples. The employee may find that the employer tries to justify the dismissal using a combination of the reasons. Once the employer established a fair reason for the dismissal, the tribunal must decide if the employer acted reasonably. 

One of Britton and Times employment law solicitors working on an unfair dismissal case