Employment law recognises the fact that there may well be a reason that is sufficient enough to warrant the dismissal of an employee that does not fall into one of the potentially fair reasons for dismissal that are specifically set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996: those being conduct; capability; redundancy and contravention of a legal requirement (otherwise referred to as ‘statutory ban’). These other reasons will fall under the umbrella of ‘some other substantial reason’ and can, given a fair procedure, result in a finding of fair dismissal. This is commonly referred to as SOSR.One branch of SOSR is ‘third party pressure’. This is often seen when a company employs staff but places them to work on contracts at other workplace e.g. cleaning or security. If working relationships between the employee and the business at which they have been placed deteriorate, the business will require the individual to be removed from the site and if there are no other contracts to place the employee on, his employer may need to consider dismissal. This would be potentially fair provided a thorough and fair procedure had been followed.See our key tips on ensuring a fair third party pressure SOSR dismissal:
If an organisation requests you to remove one of your employees from site you should ask for the reason behind it;
Ascertain whether your client has the “authority” to request the removal site;
Make reasonable attempts to change their client’s mind;
Explore whether the employee can be removed to another site such as “site B”, etc – can you juggle your resources so the employee who they have had to remove can be allocated elsewhere? If not, be prepared to explain why not;
Explore alternatives at other sites, if applicable (e.g. are there other sites to deploy the employee at?). Could you shuffle other staff at other sites around?;
Look at the “behind the headline info” request – is there a hidden agenda?;
Dismissal is the “last resort” – the request of removal from site “third party pressure” should not been seen as a way to “get rid” of an employee. Tribunals have become wise to the act of dismissing for SOSR “third party pressure”;
All correspondence should be in writing. A good paper trail is vital; and
Document every step.
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