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Unfair dismissal remedies: Employer-caused illness is relevant to determination of compensatory award

This report relates to 2 case(s)

An employment tribunal was wrong to conclude that an employee's allegations, that unfair treatment over a period of years at the hands of his employer caused, perpetuated and exacerbated the problems of work-related stress and depression that led to his dismissal, were irrelevant to the question whether it would be "just and equitable" to make a compensatory award for unfair dismissal under s.123(1) of the Employment Rights Act ("the ERA"), holds the EAT in Edwards v Governors of Hanson School 16.1.01 EAT 314/99. Further, although the issue did not, strictly speaking, have to be determined in this case, the EAT expresses the view that its own previous decision in London Fire & Defence Authority v Betty [1994] IRLR 384 - which appeared to hold that employer-caused injury leading to dismissal was irrelevant to the fairness or otherwise of that dismissal - imposed an "unjustified fetter" upon the application of the test of reasonableness contained in s.98(4) of the ERA.