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Damages: No common law remedy for financial loss flowing from manner of dismissal

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    Johnson v Unisys Ltd [2001] IRLR 279 HL (0 other reports)

There is no common law contractual remedy for financial or other loss allegedly flowing from the manner or circumstances of an employee's dismissal, holds the House of Lords in Johnson v Unisys Ltd 22.3.01. The implied duty of trust and confidence could not therefore apply where an employee claimed that his summary dismissal, without warning and in breach of the employer's disciplinary procedures, led to foreseeable psychiatric illness that meant he might never work again. In the way it has always been formulated, that implied term is concerned with preserving the continuing relationship between employer and employee, and is inappropriate for use in connection with the way that relationship is terminated. More importantly, for the judiciary to construct any general common law remedy for unfair circumstances attending dismissal would be contrary to the evident intention of Parliament that there should be such a remedy, in the form of statutory unfair dismissal protection, but that it should be limited in application and extent.