A Polkey deduction is a deduction made from a compensatory award in an unfair dismissal case to reflect the chance that although a dismissal was procedurally unfair it would have happened in any case.

A claim for unfair dismissal may succeed on the grounds that the employer failed to follow a fair procedure in every respect. However, in such a case it will still be possible for an employer to argue that even if a fair process had been observed, the employee would still have been dismissed.

This can lead to any award for compensation being reduced – a ‘Polkey’ reduction – based on the tribunal’s view of the likelihood of dismissal occurring. The actual reduction is a matter for the discretion of the employment tribunal and can range from nil to 100%.

This principle was set out in the case of Polkey v AE Dayton Services Ltd [1987].

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Updates: For employers: Tribunals | Unfair and constructive dismissal | For employees: Tribunals | Unfair dismissal |
Tagged with: Unfair dismissal |

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