On appeal from: [2010] EWCA Civ 571 and [2010] EWHC 646 (QB)

Both cases involved the scope of damages recoverable at common law by an employee who had been dismissed through a disciplinary procedure that failed to comply the terms of the employment contract.

The employers’ appeals were allowed by a majority; employees could not recover damages for loss suffered as a result of a breach of a term in their employment contract as to the manner of their dismissal, unless the loss could be said to precede and be independent of the dismissal. Compensation for the manner of dismissal was limited to what might be recovered under the Employment Rights Act 1996. Parliament specified the consequences of a failure to comply in unfair dismissal proceedings. It could not have intended that they would also give rise to a common law claim for damages. Unless the parties express otherwise, they are taken not to intend that a failure to comply with contractual disciplinary procedures would give rise to a common law claim for damages.

For judgment, please download: [2011] UKSC 58
For the Court’s press summary, please download: Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII