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Devis v Atkins

[1977] ICR 622

Case summary last updated at 18/02/2020 19:46 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Devis v Atkins

P was dismissed for reasons that were given at the time of dismissal. D then tried to claim that the reason for dismissal was dishonest conduct which was discovered after the dismissal (treated by the court as the same as the date of effective termination). The court defined the principal reason for dismissal (under s.98(1)(a)) the main one relied upon by the employer at the time of dismissal and therefore could not be a reason discovered afterwards. However compensation would be worked out on the basis of what was ‘just and equitable’, under s.123. This was to consider not just resultant loss, but also whether there was actually any injustice done to P. (per Viscount Dilhorne). Emphasis is on employee’s loss and fault (nothing to do with the employer’s fault). (See Dunnachie).

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