Botham v The Ministry of Defence: QBD 26 Mar 2010

The claimant had been employed by the MOD. He was summarily dismissed for gross misconduct, and he was then placed on the list of persons unsuitable for work with children. He succeeded at the Tribunal in a claim for unfair and wrongful dismissal. The employer had failed to follow the contractual procedure, and the dismissal was in any event unreasonable. Damages were limited to compensation for unfair dismissal and breach of the three-month contractual notice period. He now sought damages for breaches of the express and implied terms of his contract which were said to have caused him loss over and above his loss of earnings during the notice period. He said that putting his name on the register had prevented him from pursuing employment in his chosen field working with children. The MOD said that no cause of action arose because the claim arose from the manner of dismissal and was barred by Johnson v Unisys.
Held: The claim was for wrongful dismissal. The loss in respect of which the claimant was seeking damages arose out of his dismissal, not out of any prior breach of contract, and it fell within the Johnson exclusion area. The remedy for a wrongful dismissal which occurs as a result of a breach of disciplinary procedures is provided exclusively by the unfair dismissal provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Slade J DBE
[2010] EWHC 646 (QB)
Employment Rights Act 1996
England and Wales
See alsoJ Botham v Ministry of Defence EAT 1-Nov-2004
EAT Practice and Procedure – Appellate jurisdiction/Reasons/Burns-Barke. . .
See alsoBotham v Ministry of Defence CA 14-Mar-2005
Leave given for appeal to the House of Lords . .
CitedHenderson v Henderson 20-Jul-1843
Abuse of Process and Re-litigation
The court set down the principles to be applied in abuse of process cases, where a matter was raised again which should have been dealt with in earlier proceedings.
Sir James Wigram VC said: ‘In trying this question I believe I state the rule . .
CitedJohnson v Unisys Ltd HL 23-Mar-2001
The claimant contended for a common law remedy covering the same ground as the statutory right available to him under the Employment Rights Act 1996 through the Employment Tribunal system.
Held: The statutory system for compensation for unfair . .
CitedEastwood and another v Magnox Electric plc; McCabe v Cornwall County Council and others HL 15-Jul-2004
The first claimants were long standing employees. Mr Eastwood fell out with his manager, who disciplined him using false statements. When Williams refused to provide a false statement he too was disciplined. Each claimed damages for the injury to . .
CitedKing v University Court of the University of St Andrews SCS 30-Jan-2002
The University had employed the pursuer on terms that it was entitled ‘for good cause shown to terminate the appointment of the employee by giving three months’ notice in writing’. He claimed on two bases, first, a breach of the alleged express term . .
CitedSerco Ltd v Lawson; Botham v Ministry of Defence; Crofts and others v Veta Limited HL 26-Jan-2006
Mr Lawson was employed by Serco as a security supervisor at the British RAF base on Ascension Island, which is a dependency of the British Overseas Territory of St Helena. Mr Botham was employed as a youth worker at various Ministry of Defence . .
CitedBerry v British Transport Commission CA 1961
The plaintiff had been prosecuted by the defendant for pulling the emergency cord on a train without proper cause. After acquittal and payment of part of her costs, she sued for malicious prosecution, saying the damages were the part of her defence . .
CitedG, Regina (on The Application of) v X School and Others CA 20-Jan-2010
The claimant was a teaching assistant. A complaint had been made that he had kissed a boy having work experience at the school, but it had been decided that no criminal prosecution would follow. He sought judicial review of the school’s decision to . .
CitedUnion Discount Company Ltd v Robert Zoller and Others, Union Cal Ltd CA 21-Nov-2001
The claimant had incurred costs in defending an action brought by the respondents in breach of an exclusive jurisdiction agreement. They appealed a judgement against them.
Held: The claim for the costs must succeed. The jurisdiction in which . .
CitedMalik v Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI); Mahmud v Bank of Credit and Commerce International HL 12-Jun-1997
Allowance of Stigma Damages
The employees claimed damages, saying that the way in which their employer had behaved during their employment had led to continuing losses, ‘stigma damages’ after the termination.
Held: It is an implied term of any contract of employment that . .

Cited by:
CitedEdwards v Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust CA 26-May-2010
The claimant, a consultant doctor, sought damages saying that his employer had failed to follow the contract when disciplining and dismissing him. The GMC had dismissed as unfounded the allegation on which the dismissal was based. He sought damages . .
At First InstanceEdwards v Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust SC 14-Dec-2011
The claimant had been employed as consultant surgeon. He had been dismissed in a manner inconsistent with the extress terms of his employment contract. He sought common law damages for the manner of his dismissal. The employer appealed.
Held: . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Damages

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.406530