David Lock QC has released a paper – “Police Ill-health and Injury Pensions: A guide through part of the maze”.
The original article can be viewed here – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/police-ill-health-injury-pensions-guide-through-part-maze-lock-qc
Please visit the article and leave an appropriate comment.
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David Lock QC: Police Ill-health and Injury Pensions: A guide through part of the maze
11 thoughts on “David Lock QC: Police Ill-health and Injury Pensions: A guide through part of the maze”
Thankyou to David Lock for this informative work on behalf of iods .It is a good thing that we have someone with your knowledge to help us in this trying time
Thank you yet again sir for a clear and concise explanation of this complicated subject. It is reassuring knowing that we have experts like you to help fight our battles against bullies who think they are above the law. I look forward to reading your future efforts about proving that Staffordshire Police are acting outside of the Police Pension regulations in relation to mass reviews of their Ill Heath Pension former officers.
Another thank you to Mr Lock, for everything, wouldn’t forces save money simply by consulting HIM rather than some of the rank amateurs they do no ?
So, Chief Constables, there you have it. It could not be made any clearer or easier to understand. The Police Injury Pensions are there for the protection of injured former officers at the point of retirement and thereafter. You may not like the wording of the regs or the judgements handed down as a result of challenges to bad decisions made by your predecessors, but they are there to be adhered to.
If you choose to accept the advice of quack solicitors you can expect to be on the receiving end of further legal challenges with all the costs they incur.
If your aim is to save money, just stop acting unlawfully.
Thank you Mr Lock for all you have done and all you are doing.
Mr Lock has very generously provided a most expert explanation of some important aspects of the law governing police pension administration.
Unfortunately, the plain fact is that forces pay little regard to pension law. This arises not so much from deliberate contempt of the law, (though pensioners have certainly experienced instances of that behaviour), but from a combination of circumstances and inappropriate attitudes, which were identified in a report commissioned by the College of Policing.
The College arranged for none other than now Chief Constable Gareth Morgan to steer a ‘Review of Force Management of Ill Health Retirements, Injury on Duty Awards and Police Medical Appeal Boards’.
The irony of this is not lost, for Mr Morgan has been one of the worst offenders in respect of injury pension maladministration. He has ignored the findings of his own report. He is not alone in that failure.
No amount of good advice from Mr Lock will correct the appallingly poor ability of HR managers, and others to correctly work within police pension law.
Mr Morgan’s report tells us why:
‘Forces approach the management of this issue differently dependent on workload and the resources made available. In the majority of forces this work is delegated to Human Resources. There is also engagement from occupational health. However, there is significant variance in the roles of these departments between forces.
Many forces are struggling due to the lack of expertise within their organisations. Both forces and staff associations report difficulties managing these issues due to key personal leaving the organisation or being absent for short periods due to sickness or prolonged periods of leave.
The structure of some force HR facilities do not support the management of the process. When managed by shared service pools rather than through specific dedicated individuals, personnel are unable to build up experience in dealing with these cases. This is acutely felt by small forces that do not have the workload to enable individual staff members to build up their experience of this work.
The above issues are compounded by a lack of dedicated subject matter experts across the service and training opportunities.
In light of the above, force personnel lack the confidence and expertise to successfully manage these processes. This is compounded by a perception that senior management in the service do not understand the complexity of the role, do not provide adequate support and that the regulations which govern these processes are not fit for purpose.
There is variance in the level of engagement of legal professionals and forces are not only obtaining legal advice from a number of sources, including individual force legal teams and contracted external legal advisors, but in some instances forces are without the support of any recognised legal professional. Due to the range of legal areas force solicitors cover, and in some instances the relatively low number of occasions when their services are engaged, legal services have been unable to develop expertise in these areas.’
Mr Lock has clearly laid out how the Regulations should be followed by a Police Pension Authority (Chief Constable) stating numerous Court Cases and decisions by the Judiciary on the matter.
Few if any, would disagree if the PPA were to follow the Regulations without concocting their own unlawful methods, unlawful demands and a failure to be clear and transparent, in order to achieve their goal of reducing the Injury Pensions of former officers.
So far these mass reviews by have been carried out in a simply outrageous dictatorial manner sadly lacking in any compassion whatsoever.
Is not a reasonable expectation that those charged with enforcing the law also follow the letter of the law ?
Thank you Mr Lock for your assistance and guidance. We can now only hope that the Police Pension Authorities will listen.
Although forces believe that they have an entitlement to recall injured officers for medical assessments, there are safeguards ‘ in law’ to protect the officer and challenge decisions. It is the anomalies hidden in the small print that forces use to intimidate vulnerable officers for the sake of saving money, under the cloak of the public purse.
My question is this. How can forces have ‘two bites of the cherry’ in retiring officers and then retrospectively attempt to claw back money.? You are either retired through injury, or not? Make your minds up!
Well done Mr Lock. Thankyou for taking the time and effort to elucidate the very real issues faced by former injured officers.
An excellent piece by Mr Lock QC. If only so called HR “professionals” took notice of what Mr Lock says there would be less cases to go before the Courts. One thing I noted was the number of cases involving Northumbria. This goes to show they lead the way in getting their bottoms kicked by the likes of Mr Lock. It also confirms what has been said for years about Northumbria – they do treat their IOD pensioners with such disdain and disrespect.
Still, as long as their true goals are to make financial savings as stated to their Executive Board back in 2015, then they are likely to continue to get there butts kicked in the number of stated cases they will lose.
Nicholas Wirz is the brains behind Northumbria’s treatment of sick police officers and he is a key player in the bizarrely titled inappropriately titled National Wellbeing Forum. A Northumbria SMP resigned when their own force JR’d their own SMP. I think it became just too much hassle. And another matter that seems to bypass attention is the massive fall in doctors qualified to do Occ Health and SMP work. The reason why is because it is just too much hassle. And the ones suffering from the reduced talent pool are sick and injured cops.
Well said my friend and, when the HR “professionals” at Northumbria do read this article, they can only hope there are enough comics in the office to go round, when those butts are well and truly kicked.
The most damning fact here is that, had an IOD officer conducted themselves, whilst in service, with the same lack of morality, integrity and honesty, as those being tasked with this wholly inappropriate process, it is highly probable they would have been dismissed or not injured in the first place.
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