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The Supreme Court has held in the joined cases of Edwards v Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Trust and Botham v Ministry of Defence that claims for breach of express contract terms (in this case a failure to follow contractual disciplinary procedures) could not proceed. In addition, as the breaches were not separate from and independent of the act of dismissal the claimants could not be awarded common law damages for loss of reputation flowing from the breaches.
Both claimants were dismissed after disciplinary hearings and argued that there had been a failure to comply with contractual disciplinary procedures. As a result of this failure and the subsequent findings of misconduct, the claimants argued that these findings, made wrongly, made it difficult for them to find a new job and caused them financial loss.
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