Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Polkey v AE Dayton Services Ltd

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Decided  19 November 1987
Ruling court  House of Lords
End date  November 19, 1987
Polkey v AE Dayton Services Ltd
Citation(s)  [1987] UKHL 8, [1988] ICR 142
Similar  Buckland v Bournemouth University, Ford v Warwickshire CC, Notcutt v Universal Equipme, Gisda Cyf v Barratt

Polkey v AE Dayton Services Ltd [1987] UKHL 8 is a UK labour law case, concerning unfair dismissal, now governed by the Employment Rights Act 1996.


The phrase 'Polkey deduction' has become a standard concept in UK Employment Tribunals, as a result of this case and later ones, meaning that even if a Tribunal decides a dismissal was unfair, it must separately decide whether the compensatory award is to be awarded in full, or be reduced by a percentage based on their estimate of the probability that the dismissal would have occurred anyway, even had a fair process been followed.


Mr Polkey drove a van for 4 years until he was told to come to his manager’s office and informed that he was being made redundant on the spot.

The Tribunal said this was "heartless disregard of the provisions of the code of practice" but recognized that redundancies were necessary.


Lord Bridge held that on the proper construction of the fairness test in the predecessor to the Employment Rights Act 1996 section 98, it was irrelevant to ask whether a different outcome may have resulted from a proper procedure, and it was not open for a tribunal to ask that. An employer does not act unreasonably if (1) employees who underperform are warned and given an opportunity to improve (2) employees who engage in misconduct are investigated and given a hearing (3) employees who are redundant are given good warning and a consultation with steps to minimise losses. But if the end result would be the same, then this will go to remedy not liability:


Polkey v AE Dayton Services Ltd Wikipedia

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