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No damages for injury to feelings in unfair dismissal claims

This report relates to 1 case(s)

The EAT has given its decision in the case of Dunnachie v Kingston upon Hull City Council (and other appeals) EAT/0726/02/RN. It has held that, contrary to the suggestion made by Lord Hoffman in the House of Lords decision in Johnson v Unisys [2001] IRLR 279, injury to feelings is not a head of damages that can be claimed for as part of the compensatory unfair dismissal award.

A full case note will follow shortly, but the reasons given for the decision can be summarised as follows: (1) prior to Johnson v Unisys, no such awards were made; (2) Lord Hoffman's suggestion in Johnson was obiter and does not therefore require such awards to be made; and (3) the relevant statutes and underlying policy all suggest that unfair dismissal compensation should be limited to economic loss only.