Dismissal for Some Other Substantial Reason (SOSR) letter template5 min read
Our Dismissal for Some Other Substantial Reason (SOSR) Letter Template communicates a termination based on valid reasons beyond the usual, providing clarity and professionalism in the process.
What is a Dismissal for Some Other Substantial Reason (SOSR) letter?
The Dismissal for Some Other Substantial Reason (SOSR) Letter serves as a formal communication notifying an employee about the termination of their employment based on reasons not linked to misconduct or poor performance.
This letter outlines the substantial reasons leading to the dismissal and ensures compliance with employment laws.
Its purpose is to convey the decision with clarity, maintaining transparency while adhering to legal requirements during the termination process for substantial reasons beyond traditional categories.
Your reasons for making this decision could include:
- A conflict of interest in continusing to employ someone.
- A continued risk to company reputation.
- The employe's refusal to accept modified terms and conditions.
- The end of a temporary role to cover an absent employee.
- Third party pressure to remove the employee.
What legal and best practice aspects should employers be aware of?
Dismissal for some other substantial reason (SOSR) is a catch-all category that allows employers to end an employment contract when no other possible fair grounds exist. The SOSR is determined by the facts and circumstances of each individual case. Although there is no useful legislative definition of the term 'substantial' precedents indicate that the reason cannot be frivolous or small.
In practice, SOSR dismissal could include situations where:
There is a conflict of interest in continuing to employ the employee. When workers have an outside interest in a competitive firm or have a personal connection or link to someone who works for a competitor, a scenario may occur where the goals of two separate parties clash.
Risk to one's reputation. This happens when continuing to employ the employee jeopardises your company's image. This is a highly fact-sensitive case, however if you work in a sector that demands a high degree of protection or confidence, it is more probable that if an employee's behaviour violates the requisite level of confidence and trust, their dismissal will be considered as reasonable.
The company want to modify the employee's terms and conditions, but the employee refuses to accept the new terms. If an employee refuses to accept a change in their terms and conditions, the only choice may be to give them notice of termination and offer to re-engage them on new terms. This is referred to as 'fire and rehire.' To establish that this is a reasonable grounds for dismissal, you must be able to show that you implemented the adjustments for 'sound business reasons.'
Return to the job of the individual they were hired to replace. If you hire someone as temporary cover for a permanent employee who is on family leave, for example, and then fire them for an SOSR cause, it is probable that they will be considered fair. It is best to ensure that they are aware that the permanent employee will return and that covering their absence is the goal of their work from the start.
A third party is putting pressure on you. This may occur if a customer refused to work with a company unless the employee was fired. This is perhaps the most prevalent circumstance in a small firm, and it frequently occurs in industries where the employer supplies staff to work on the sites of customers or clients, such as maintenance personnel, contract cleaners, or security guards. In these cases, if the client states they no longer want the employee to work on their site and there is no alternative place for them to work, the SOSR dismissal is likely to be ruled fair.
Fairness is not the only factor to consider. Before terminating an employee, employers must act appropriately and follow an acceptable process. Alternatives to dismissal, such as transferring the employee to another location or department, should always be examined before resorting to dismissal. However, whether or not this is possible is dependent on the organisation's resources and size.
It is also critical to ensure that dismissal is the only option available. This means you must have provided proper warnings or considered other options, such as relocating the person within the organisation, before resorting to dismissal.
Dismissal for Some Other Substantial Reason (SOSR) [Delete this line]
Dear [Recipient first name],
Termination of Employment - Some Other Substantial Reason
I am writing further to the meeting held on [insert date] regarding your potential dismissal due to [insert substantial reason(s) for proposed termination of employment]. Unfortunately we must now advise you that the Company has taken the decision to terminate your contract of employment on the ground of some other substantial reason of a kind, as such to justify your dismissal.
For the reasons outlined below, we discussed with you the difficulty we have in continuing to employ you in your current position of [insert job title].
E.g. The recent restructuring within our organszation, while not involving redundancies, has necessitated changes to employees' terms and conditions. Your refusal to accept these changes, integral to the smooth operation of the business, constitutes a valid ground for dismissal under SOSR.]
[Refusal to Accept Changes to Terms and Conditions:
E.g. Despite our attempts to engage in meaningful dialogue regarding necessary modifications to your terms and conditions, your steadfast refusal to accept these changes leaves us with no alternative but to consider SOSR as a fair reason for your dismissal.]
[Conflicts of Interest:
E.g. Our investigation has revealed a situation where your continued employment poses a potential conflict of interest to the business. The evidence indicates a risk to our interests, including access to sensitive commercial information and close connections with a competitor.]
E.g. Irreconcilable differences and ongoing personality clashes between yourself and colleagues have been a source of substantial disruption to the business. Despite efforts to mitigate this through various means, the conflicts persist, warranting consideration of SOSR as a fair reason for dismissal.]
[Pressure from Third Parties:
E.g. External pressures from a significant third party, [specify if applicable], have necessitated a re-evaluation of our workforce. In light of the importance of this third party to our business and the severity of the potential consequences, we find it necessary to consider SOSR as a fair reason for your dismissal.]
[Breakdown in Trust and Confidence:
E.g. Regrettably, a breakdown in trust and confidence has become apparent, and reasonable attempts to rectify the situation have proven unsuccessful. SOSR is considered a fair reason for dismissal in these circumstances, acknowledging the substantial nature of the breakdown.]
This decision is not taken lightly, and we understand the impact it may have on you. We encourage you to seek advice and explore any available avenues for appeal as outlined in our internal policies.
If you have any queries or require additional information regarding this decision, please do not hesitate to contact [HR Contact].
You have the right of appeal against this decision. Your appeal should be directed to [Name | the HR Department | HR Services] within [number] days of receiving this letter. It should set out in full the reason(s) for your appeal.
Yours [faithfully | sincerely],
[Sender job title]
Guide to Dismissing an Employee for Some Other Substantial Reason (SOSR)
Our Guide to Dismissing an Employee for Some Other Substantial Reason (SOSR) offers step-by-step instructions, ensuring legal compliance and fairness in the dismissal process.
Dismissal appeal letter template
If you wish to appeal against your dismissal, send this model letter template to your previous employer.
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