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Dunnachie Overturned

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The Court of Appeal has, today, overturned the EAT's decision in Dunnachie v Kingston upon Hull City Council.

In three separate judgments, the Court of Appeal unanimously hold that damages for non-pecuniary losses are available for unfair dismissal. This includes damages for injury to feelings flowing from the dismissal. In so deciding, the Court of Appeal held that the seminal case of Norton Tool Co v Tewson [1972] ICR 501 was wrongly decided.

Giving the leading judgment, Sedley LJ also stated that such damages will not flow in every case, but only where there is "a real injury to [the employee's] self-respect" - which will most frequently be seen in constructive dismissal cases (para 48).

He also made it clear he was notdeciding whether it was possible to recover damages for injury to feeling arising from the fact, rather than manner, of dismissal.