Addleshaw Goddard

UK 200 2014 position: 22


Court rules that contractual damages cannot be recovered for manner of dismissal losses

In an important decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that an employee cannot bring a breach of contract claim for losses flowing from the manner of dismissal even where the dismissal is in breach of an express contractual disciplinary procedure. The statutory unfair dismissal regime provides for compensation in these circumstances, and the ordinary principles that govern breach of contract damages do not apply. Contractual damages can only be recovered where the breach precedes and is independent of the dismissal process (Edwards v Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Botham v Ministry of Defence)..

When an employer breaches an employment contract, ordinarily, like with any other contract, the employee can recover damages for losses flowing from that breach. However, in the leading case of Johnson v Unisys, the House of Lords said that contractual claims for breach of the implied term of trust and confidence in the manner of dismissal cannot be brought as Parliament has already provided a statutory remedy for unfair dismissal. This exception from normal breach of contract principles has become known as the Johnson exclusion area…

If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Addleshaw Goddard briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.


Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Analysis from The Lawyer

View more analysis from The Lawyer


Milton Gate
60 Chiswell Street

Turnover (£m): 171.35
No. of lawyers: 598