newsflash

Staffordshire Police Put The Brakes On

Staffordshire Police Put The Brakes On

Whoa!!!

— [Anonymous] command to stop or slow down, usually horse or vehicle

We have breaking news…

Staffordshire’s Chief Constable, Mr Morgan, has thrown the gears of his review truck into reverse.

A few weeks ago Mr Morgan took the extraordinary step of deciding that failure by IOD pensioners to allow access to their medical records amounted to a failure to attend a medical interview or examination. His stance was that full access to medical records was a necessary step in any medical examination or interview.

Seventeen of our members had received letters just four weeks prior to Christmas from Mr Morgan advising that because they had refused access to their medical records he would be reducing their injury pensions and the reductions would be backdated, indicating that they would also claw back the money from the affected pensioners.

Mr Morgan’s decision was robustly challenged by our solicitors, acting on behalf of the IOD pensioners concerned.

Pensioners have now heard from Mr Morgan’s solicitors that he, in his role as Police Pension Authority (‘PPA’), accepts that the letters notifying pensioners of his decision to reduce their pensions,

. . . did not sufficiently explain the reasons for the decisions. Further, the decisions should not in the circumstances have had retrospective effect.

 

Our solicitors have been told that Mr Morgan,

. . . proposes to provide each of the proposed Claimants with further decision letters, containing a fuller explanation of the reasons for the decision taken in each case…

 

Meanwhile no reductions in injury pensions will be made at this time.

IODPA can not comment in detail on the issue as the legal arguments will be continuing, and may be heading for the Administrative Court should the PPA wish to see his interpretation of regulation 33 tested.

However, we can say that all of the IOD pensioners affected by Mr Morgan’s threats to reduce their injury pensions can now have a peaceful Christmas without the extreme fear that any future decision by CC Morgan will not allow him to backdate any pension payments.

Gareth Morgan Invokes Regulation 33 On Seventeen Disabled Pensioners

Gareth Morgan Invokes Regulation 33 On Seventeen Disabled Pensioners

 

Gareth Morgan (pictured) has sent out letters to seventeen Staffordshire police pensioners informing them he is dropping their injury pensions based on his interpretation of Regulation 33 of The Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006. He is also intending to back date his decision.

We cannot comment on this any further for legal reasons, but here is what Staffordshire Police have posted on their website –

 

David Lock QC: Police Ill-health and Injury Pensions: A guide through part of the maze

David Lock QC: Police Ill-health and Injury Pensions: A guide through part of the maze

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.

All copyright owned by David Lock QC

Police Ill-health and Injury Pensions

Mark Botham Appears In NARPO News

Mark Botham Appears In NARPO News

The “November 2018 | Issue 96” edition of the monthly NARPO magazine contained this full page article by Mark Botham.

Mark is the Managing Director of Botham Solutions which provides training, a health and safety consultancy and advises on matters such as police pensions. He is an ex Yorkshire Police Federation rep of nineteen years and spent ten as chairman of the county branch. He holds a BA Hons, Post Graduate Diploma in Law, Post Graduate Certificate in Law, Post Diploma in Law and Master of Law and currently works for Haven Solicitors.

It is great to see some sound legal advice being published for all officers that have been injured on duty.

Here is his article –

 

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This article has been reproduced by kind permission of Mark Botham and the National Association of Retired Police Officers.

Mark can be contacted via Haven Solicitors – havensolicitors.co.uk

NARPO can be contacted via their website – www.narpo.org

CC Morgan cancelled today’s IOD meeting at Staffordshire Headquarters

CC Morgan cancelled today’s IOD meeting at Staffordshire Headquarters

We recently reported that Chief Constable Gareth Morgan had invited vulnerable pensioners to Staffordshire Police Headquarters to discuss the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 and in particular Regulation 33.

He also rejected the offer for the pensioners legal representatives to attend in order to represent their clients.

We understand that the meeting scheduled for today was cancelled. We can only assume that there were no takers to his invitation?

 

 

If you didn’t see them, here are the original blogs –

https://iodpa.org/2018/07/13/chief-constable-morgan-sends-letters-to-vulnerable-pensioners/

and

https://iodpa.org/2018/07/23/cc-morgan-refuses-pensioners-legal-representatives-to-attend-a-meeting/

 

David Lock QC: Chief Constables are under positive legal duty to refer permanently disabled police officers to an SMP

David Lock QC: Chief Constables are under positive legal duty to refer permanently disabled police officers to an SMP

Court holds that Chief Constables are under positive legal duty to refer permanently disabled police officers to an SMP for IOD assessment on retirement if the officer “may” have an entitlement to a police injury pension.

In a ruling on 20th July 2018, that may have significance for many other disabled former police officers, HHJ Moore has decided that Chief Constables who require a police officer to retire on the grounds of permanent disablement can be under a legal duty to refer the officer to an SMP to decide whether the officer is entitled to a police injury pension.  The Judge decided the legal duty will arise in a case where the SMP report contains information which indicates that that the officer may have a right to a police injury pension.  This positive duty means that the Chief Constable is required to take the initiative by making an SMP referral in appropriate cases, and cannot just wait until the officer makes a request.

This important principle was decided in the case of former Sergeant Lloyd Kelly who was serving with the South Yorkshire Force.  After a long career of public service, Sgt Kelly was required to retire after developing a permanent medical condition in 2005.  The SMP report showed his condition was clearly duty related, but no referral was made by the Chief Constable to an SMP to make a decision whether he was entitled to an enhanced police injury  pension.  Police pension rights are complex and, as with many officers, Sgt Kelly was unaware that he may have been entitled to an IOD award as well as his standard ill-health pension and so did not request an SMP referral.

In 2016, Sgt Kelly learned that he may be entitled to an injury award and so applied to West Yorkshire Police to have his case considered by an SMP for the first time.  He was assessed by a new SMP and awarded a substantial police injury pension.  But contrary to Regulation 43(1) of the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 (“the 2006 Regulations”), the Chief Constable refused to pay a backdated award from the date of his retirement.  Sgt Kelly, supported by the Police Federation and Slater and Gordon Lawyers, appealed that refusal to the Sheffield Crown Court under Regulation 34 of the 2006 Regulations.

On 20th July 2017, HHJ Moore held that Sgt Kelly’s case ought to have been referred by the South Yorkshire Police Authority to the SMP in 2005 and that the Chief Constable was attempting to gain a windfall from his predecessor’s breach of its legal duty by failing to pay the back-dated pension.  The Judge held that the scheme of the Regulations provided that, once a police pension was awarded, it was payable for the life of the officer from the date of retirement.  Hence, he directed the Chief Constable to pay the backdated pay in full and with interest from the date of the award.

However the case has wider significance because the Judge also decided a Chief Constable has a positive duty to refer disabled police officers into the IOD system if they may have a right to a pension, and cannot simply wait until the officer makes a request.  He reached this decision based on:

  1. the duty on the Chief Constable to make a decision as to what pensions were owing to the former officer under Regulation 30(1) of the 2006 Regulations,
  2. the common law duty the Chief Constable owes to police officers,
  3. the requirement to make reasonable adjustments in favour of disabled officers (now under the Equality Act 2010), and
  4. to give effect to the officer’s rights under Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the ECHR.

The Judge also followed the cases of Tully and Schilling in deciding that the police pension system provided for back-dated pensions payable from the date of retirement for officers who were permanently disabled on retirement, even if the pension award decision was taken at a later date.

The Court ordered the Chief Constable to pay all of the former officer’s legal costs.

David Lock QC: The implications for the police injury pension scheme of the decision in R (Evans) v Chief Constable of Cheshire

David Lock QC: The implications for the police injury pension scheme of the decision in R (Evans) v Chief Constable of Cheshire

David Lock QC has released a paper following his highly successful win at the high court in a Judicial Review against Cheshire Constabulary in the Manchester Administrative Court on the 14th March 2018.

The original article can be viewed here – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/implications-police-injury-pension-scheme-decision-r-evans-lock-qc/

Please visit the article and leave an appropriate comment.

All copyright owned by David Lock QC

The implications for the police injury pension scheme of the decision in R v Evans

Breaking News: Judicial Review confirms that final decisions are final

Breaking News: Judicial Review confirms that final decisions are final

Our congratulations to David Lock QC and Ron Thompson of Haven Solicitors who have won another very important Judicial Review against Cheshire Constabulary in the Manchester Administrative Court on the 14th March 2018. It centres around whether an SMP who is considering an injury award can revisit the same questions already answered during the ill-health retirement process. IODPA receives a lot of correspondence over this issue, and the judgement reinforces the rights of injured officers and should provide some certainty to those who have been ill-health retired and are seeking an injury award.

The case involved Mark Evans an officer from Cheshire Constabulary, who in 2007 following a number of on duty incidents was deemed to be disabled by reason of (i) mechanical back pain, and (ii) post-traumatic stress disorder, and that that disablement was likely to be permanent. Evans was not ill-health retired, but retained on non-operational clerical roles.

In 2015, the force reconsidered whether that state of affairs should continue and an assessment by Dr Pilkington, a new SMP concluded that he was permanently disabled on the basis of “significant degenerative changes in his right shoulder“, but that his PTSD “would not be expected to constitute a permanent incapacity“. He was required to retire on the grounds of permanent disablement.

Evans then applied for an injury on duty award, and his case was referred to a third SMP, Dr Walsh. Dr Walsh concluded the claimant had a permanent disability as a result of “significant degenerative changes in his right shoulder joint“, but again rejected the claim of PTSD. Evans was awarded band 1.

Evans appealed the decision to the PMAB, who disagreed that he had any permanent disablement at all, and therefore he did not qualify for an injury award.

The case hinged on whether following the initial determination of Dr Hutton, the PMAB were entitled to reconsider under the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006, the following questions that had already been decided under the Police Pension Regulations 1987,

(a) whether the person concerned is disabled
(b) whether the disablement is likely to be permanent

Mr Justice LANE quashed the decision of the PMAB stating “police officers who are required to retire on the grounds of permanent disablement are entitled to a degree of finality in respect of their entitlement to pensions. A police officer who has to retire as a result of what is then considered to be permanent disablement caused in the line of duty should not be at the mercy of a subsequent medical assessment, that he or she was not, in fact, permanently disabled“.

You can read the full judgement here – http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2018/952.html

Ron Thompson from Haven Solicitors has provided the following press release.

 

Haven Press Release - Evans

 

 

More ICO advice for Northumbria Police

More ICO advice for Northumbria Police

Another interesting development regarding the use of injured pensioners data by Northumbria Police and complaints that have been made to the Information Commissioners Office (‘ICO’).

IODPA believe that a number of police pensioners have made similar complaints regarding their former force attempting to coerce them to hand over their private and sensitive data (medical notes).

Many of them have taken the step to complain to the ICO, who have now issued advice to them.

The complaints have been centred around consent being freely given when considering releasing medical notes, the retention of medical notes and Subject Access Requests. The upshot is, that it is “unlikely that NP are complying with the first principal of the Data Protection Act”, which states that personal data should be processed fairly and lawfully.

Please note, this is advice from the ICO as opposed to a formal decision notice and it is for individuals. We would imagine that the ICO would come to the same conclusion for any pensioner with a similar complaint, regardless of force.

Of course this is not the first time that the ICO have provide advice in relation to Northumbria Police – https://iodpa.org/2017/11/24/northumbria-police-federation-wins-ico-advice-notice/

If you believe your data is being processed unfairly, please get in touch with the ICO – https://ico.org.uk/

 

Nothumbria - ICO advice

 

Employment and Support Allowance (‘ESA’) and injury pensions

Employment and Support Allowance (‘ESA’) and injury pensions

Reduction of Employment and Support Allowance (‘ESA’) from injury pensions finally gets put on to the statute books.

 

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Our advice to our members remains the same.

You will need to make an application to the DWP for ESA and also Industrial Injuries Disability Benefit (‘IIDB’), as both are now deductible benefits from an IOD award.

If successful with an application, the equivalent amount of money will be taken off your injury pension. They may only deduct money in relation to your qualifying injury.

If unsuccessful with the DWP, please do not worry. Forces will not deduct any monies, but they will need to see that pensioners have applied and failed, so please ensure that a copy of your refusal from the DWP is forwarded to your force.