Some other substantial reason
Case 13: The facts
Sales manager Karen Breedon was dismissed for "some other substantial reason" (SOSR) following a phone call to her employer, during which it was alleged that her husband had made threats to another manager and his family. A tribunal held that she had been unfairly dismissed; it said that the reason for dismissal was her failure to apologise for her husband's alleged threat, which was a conduct reason and not SOSR.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) pointed out that a combined set of facts or beliefs can be a reason for dismissal, as long as the employer genuinely believes them: it is the reason itself that matters, not the label attached to it.
Breedon was dismissed because of her husband's alleged threats, her denial of them and failure to apologise, and the employer's belief that it was unreasonable to manage her in those circumstances. The EAT said the employer had established a substantial reason for dismissal, but the tribunal had not properly dealt with all the issues relating to the reasonableness of the dismissal. Breedon's case was therefore sent to a fresh tribunal for re-hearing.
Avid Technology Europe Ltd v Breedon EAT/0254/06