Commentary

(d) Claims for the manner of the wrongful dismissal

Division AII Contract of Employment
| Commentary

(d) Claims for the manner of the wrongful dismissal

| Commentary

(d)     Claims for the manner of the wrongful dismissal

(i)     The general position

Damages for breach of contract usually relate to financial loss and not to non-pecuniary loss for injured feelings. The rationale for this is that contracts normally concern commercial matters and mental suffering on breach is not in the contemplation of the parties as part of the business risks of the transaction. Thus, claims for wrongful dismissal generally will be confined to the notice period and any claim for breach of contractual dismissal procedures: as to the latter, see para [477] ff.

In general, the law of contract is that it is not possible to recover damages for mental distress, anguish, annoyance, loss of reputation or social discredit caused by the circumstances or manner of a breach of contract. The exception is where the contract is to provide enjoyment or peace of mind (such as a holiday contract: Jarvis v Swans Tours Ltd [1973] QB 233, [1973] 1 All ER 71; Jackson v Horizon Holidays Limited [1975] 3 All ER 92, [1975] 1 WLR 1468) or to protect the claimant from annoyance, molestation or distress (Heywood v Wellers [1976] QB 446, [1976] 1 All ER 300: solicitors failed to take proper steps to obtain a non-molestation order thus subjecting the claimant to further harassment). Generally, if the contract has as its purpose fun or peace of mind, then non-pecuniary damages are permissible. This was confirmed by

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