Employment Rights Act 1996

98 General.E+W+S

(1)In determining for the purposes of this Part whether the dismissal of an employee is fair or unfair, it is for the employer to show—

(a)the reason (or, if more than one, the principal reason) for the dismissal, and

(b)that it is either a reason falling within subsection (2) or some other substantial reason of a kind such as to justify the dismissal of an employee holding the position which the employee held.

(2)A reason falls within this subsection if it—

(a)relates to the capability or qualifications of the employee for performing work of the kind which he was employed by the employer to do,

(b)relates to the conduct of the employee,

[F1(ba)F2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ]

(c)is that the employee was redundant, or

(d)is that the employee could not continue to work in the position which he held without contravention (either on his part or on that of his employer) of a duty or restriction imposed by or under an enactment.

[F3(2A)F2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ]

(3)In subsection (2)(a)—

(a)capability”, in relation to an employee, means his capability assessed by reference to skill, aptitude, health or any other physical or mental quality, and

(b)qualifications”, in relation to an employee, means any degree, diploma or other academic, technical or professional qualification relevant to the position which he held.

[F4(3A)F2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ]

(4)[F5Where] the employer has fulfilled the requirements of subsection (1), the determination of the question whether the dismissal is fair or unfair (having regard to the reason shown by the employer)—

(a)depends on whether in the circumstances (including the size and administrative resources of the employer’s undertaking) the employer acted reasonably or unreasonably in treating it as a sufficient reason for dismissing the employee, and

(b)shall be determined in accordance with equity and the substantial merits of the case.

F6(5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(6)[F7Subsection (4)][F8is] subject to—

(a)sections [F998A] to 107 of this Act, and

(b)sections 152, 153 [F10, 238 and 238A] of the M1Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (dismissal on ground of trade union membership or activities or in connection with industrial action).

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Amendments (Textual)

F2S. 98(2)(ba)(2A)(3A) omitted (6.4.2011) by virtue of The Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011(S.I. 2011/1069), {reg. 3(2)(a)} (with regs. 5, 6, 9)

F5Word in s. 98(4) substituted (6.4.2011) by The Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011(S.I. 2011/1069), {reg. 3(2)(b)} (with regs. 5, 6, 9)

F7Words in s. 98(6) substituted (15.12.1999) by 1999 c. 26, s. 9, Sch. 4 Pt. III para. 15(b); S.I. 1999/2830, art. 2(2), Sch. 1 Pt. II (with Sch. 3 paras. 10, 11)

F8Word in s. 98(6) substituted (1.10.2004) by Employment Act 2002 (c. 22), ss. 53, 55(2), Sch. 7 para. 32(a); S.I. 2004/2185, art. 2

F9Word in s. 98(6)(a) substituted (1.10.2004) by Employment Act 2002 (c. 22), ss. 53, 55(2), Sch. 7 para. 32(b); S.I. 2004/2185, art. 2

F10Words in s. 98(6)(b) substituted (6.4.2005) by Employment Relations Act 2004 (c. 24), ss. 57(1), 59(2)-(4), Sch. 1 para. 30; S.I. 2005/872, arts. 4, 5, Sch. (subject to arts. 6-12)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Marginal Citations