W Devis and Sons Ltd v Atkins: HL 6 Jul 1977

The ‘just and equitable’ test warranted the reduction or extinction of compensation for an employee who has been unfairly dismissed and then found to have been liable to summary dismissal. ‘The paragraph does not, nor did s. 116 of the Act of 1971, provide that regard should be had only to the loss resulting from the dismissal being unfair. Regard must be had to that, but the award must be just and equitable in all the circumstances, and it cannot be just and equitable that a sum should be awarded in compensation when in fact the employee has suffered no injustice by being dismissed.’

Viscount Dilhorne, Lord Simon of Glaisdale
[1977] IRLR 314, [1977] AC 931, [1977] ICR 662, [1977] UKHL 6, [1977] 3 All ER 40, [1977] 3 WLR 214, (1978) 13 ITR 71, 8 BLR 57
Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1971
England and Wales
CitedAbernethy v Mott Hay and Anderson CA 1974
Lord Cairns said: ‘A reason for the dismissal of an employee is a set of facts known to the employer, or it may be of beliefs held by him, which cause him to dismiss the employee. If at the time of his dismissal the employer gives a reason for it, . .
EndorsedVokes Ltd v Bear 1973
The court discussed whether, having found errors in the employer’s dismissal of the emploee, the tribunal can take into account other circumstances to say that the employee might have been dismissed in any event.
Held: Sir Hugh Griffiths said: . .

Cited by:
CitedDunnachie v Kingston Upon Hull City Council CA 11-Feb-2004
Compensation for non-economic loss brought about by the manner of an unfair dismissal is, on authority and on principle, recoverable. The award of such compensation by the employment tribunal in the present case was not excessive and was adequately . .
CitedM Iqbal v Consignia Plc EAT 5-Dec-2002
EAT Procedural Issues – Employment Tribunal
The claimant had had his claims for discrimination rejected. He was found to have been unfairly dismissed, but with nil compensation because of what was found to . .
CitedDunnachie v Kingston-upon-Hull City Council HL 15-Jul-2004
The claimant sought damages following his dismissal to include a sum to reflect the manner of his dismissal and the distress caused.
Held: The remarks of Lord Hoffmann in Johnson -v- Unysis were obiter. The court could not, under the section, . .
CitedAlexander and Hatherley v Bridgen Enterprises Ltd EAT 12-Apr-2006
The company made selections for redundancy, but failed to give the appellants information about how the scoring system had resulted in the figures allocated. The calculations left their representative unable to challenge them on appeal. The . .
CitedAssociated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen v Brady EAT 31-Mar-2006
The reason adduced by the union for the dismissal of the climant was found by the Tribunal on the facts not to be the true reason for dismissal, the true reason being the union executive committee’s political antipathy to Mr Brady.
Held: It . .
CitedPolkey v A E Dayton Services Limited HL 19-Nov-1987
Mr Polkey was employed as a driver. The company decided to replace four van drivers with two van salesmen and a representative. Mr Polkey and two other van drivers were made redundant. Without warning, he was called in and informed that he had been . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.194789