Dismissing for some other substantial reason – is there a higher threshold?
No said the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Ssekisonge v Barts Health NHS Trust (“the Trust”), who rejected Ms Ssekisonge’s appeal that her dismissal was unfair.
Ms Ssekisonge worked as a nurse and had successfully obtained British citizenship. Her citizenship was later revoked by the Home Office after concerns arose regarding her true identity. Ms Ssekisonge’s ability to work in the UK was unaffected. Nevertheless, the Trust dismissed her, arguing that certainty over her identity was crucial to her role. The Tribunal held that this was a fair ‘substantial reason’ for dismissal.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed, adding that employers are not obliged to reach a particularly high threshold in order to make a “no fault” ‘some other substantial reason’ dismissal reasonable. Employers were not expected to investigate far beyond official information obtained about an employee from a responsible public authority although each case will turn on its own facts.
This decision should not be seen as carte blanche for employers to dismiss for ‘some other substantial reason’, but confirms they will not be subject to a higher level of scrutiny if this is the fair reason relied on.