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Employment Law

Legal guidance - compliance - software

09 OCT 2014

Fox v British Airways plc [2013] EWCA Civ 972; [2013] IRLR 813; (2014) EMPLR 042

Edward  Benson

Partner

31 July 2013

Court of Appeal (Civil Division)

Moore-Bick, Pitchford and Underhill LJJ

Compensation may, if the employee dies shortly after dismissal, include death in service benefits which would have been payable had the employee not been dismissed.

Mr Fox was dismissed because of his lengthy sickness absence. He died a week after his dismissal. Had he still been employed his family would have received £85,000 in death in service benefits. His father commenced tribunal proceedings against Mr Fox’s employers. The main purpose of the proceedings was to recover the £85,000. The question was whether, if Mr Fox’s dismissal was unfair or discriminatory (still to be decided), the compensation would include the death in service benefits his family would have received.

British Airways argued it could not be part of the compensation because Mr Fox would never have received it. The Court of Appeal held that compensation would include the loss of the £85,000, basing its decision on the principle that compensation is intended to put the victim (in this case, Mr Fox’s estate) in the position it would have been had the wrong not been committed.

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