Osei-Adjei v RM Education Ltd: EAT 24 Sep 2013

The Claimant suffered an act of disability discrimination by reason of the Respondent’s failure to make a reasonable adjustment. He was for a time unfit to work but at the time of the termination of his Employment he was fit to return to work, his job was open to him and all reasonable adjustments had been or would be made. He resigned and asserted that there had been a constructive unfair dismissal. The Employment Tribunal held that he had not been dismissed and that the resignation broke the chain of causation so far as any future loss of earnings was concerned. The Claimant sought to argue on the authority of Prison Service v Beart no 2 [2005] ICR 1206 that the termination of his employment could not amount to a novus actus interveniens that broke the chain of causation. The Employment Appeal Tribunal held that Beart was authority for the proposition that an employer who had unfairly dismissed a claimant could not rely upon its wrongful act to minimise the claimant’s compensation. That principle did not apply in cases where the termination of the employment was brought about by the voluntary act of the claimant; Ahsan v Labour Party (2011) UKEAT/0211/10 applied.
Where a claimant suffered psychological or other injury as a result partly of the wrongful act of his employer and partly for reasons that were not the fault of the employer the compensation stood to be assessed by reference to the relative contribution of the employer’s wrongful act to the injury in question and discounting from the award the effect of other contributing causes. On the facts of this case the Claimant’s award stood to be reduced.

Serota QC
[2013] UKEAT 0461 – 12 – 2409
England and Wales
CitedBeart v HM Prison Service CA 26-Apr-2005
The claimant had been dismissed by reason of disability and so was entitled to compensation for the associated psychological injury. She was then dismissed unfairly, and the employer sought to argue that the dismissal constituted a novus actus and . .

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Employment, Discrimination, Damages

Updated: 21 November 2021; Ref: scu.516002