UKEAT/0277/08

Unfair dismissal compensation: loss of final salary pension rights continued beyond loss of earnings  

In Roberts, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld the earlier tribunal decision that an unfairly dismissed employee was entitled to compensation for her ongoing pension loss even though, immediately after her dismissal, she obtained a new job with a remuneration package that was more favourable overall.  

The fact that the employee found a new job meant that she received no award for loss of earnings, but the EAT held that the tribunal had been entitled to approach her pension loss separately. Prior to being unfairly dismissed, Ms Roberts had enjoyed the benefit of a defined benefit (final salary) pension scheme, whereas in her new job she had access only to a defined contribution (money purchase) scheme. She had therefore lost a unique type of benefit which, given that final salary schemes are "being eased out in the private sector", she was unlikely to receive again