18 October 2019
The seven staff associations representing police officers in the UK have applied to be an interested party to the Employment Tribunal determining the remedy to the discrimination ruled to have been caused by the transitional protections introduced in the new police pension scheme.
They believe this will help ensure the remedy does not inadvertently cause further uncertainty or difficulty in the future.
The move follows a meeting of the Police Pensions Forum last week.
Alex Duncan, national secretary of the Police Federation of England and Wales, explained: “Throughout the course of this pension challenge we have maintained that we will keep the situation under review and act accordingly. Our move is not about seeking to delay or prevent a remedy but to ensure that any such solution is not unnecessarily detrimental to any other group of our membership.
“Collectively, we, the staff associations for police officers throughout the UK, have a responsibility to represent the different pensions groups within our membership and we are seeking to represent the interests of all members by making certain they are treated fairly and in accordance with the law. We feel it is important that their respective positions are also considered when arriving at the best remedy.
“The tribunal has the ability to award additional compensation for hurt feelings over and above the remedy. We do not expect this to be high. Nonetheless, we will seek for it to be applied to all affected officers, not just current claimants. It is for the tribunal to decide what, if any, compensation it will apply for hurt feelings.”
Should it become necessary, officers have until three months minus one day after the tribunal to make claims and these can be made without using a legal firm.
The staff associations have appointed Counsel to act on their collective behalf at the case management hearing on 28 October 2019. The various parties involved in the claim have the right to object to them becoming an interested party in which case a judge will have to rule whether to accept the application.
The hearing will set out the timetable and structure of future hearings and any remedy is expected to be some considerable way down the line.
Alex added: “The Government has itself said any potential solution will apply to all claimants and we still fully expect it to fulfil its legal obligation of consulting with us on any proposed changes to the pension scheme.
“Our greatest priority is ensuring that any remedy is comprehensive and correct in dealing with all concerned members. We believe that if this is not the case there is a very real danger this could inadvertently lead to further discrimination.
“We believe that by being an interested party we will be best placed to assist the tribunal in arriving at a remedy which does not inadvertently cause further uncertainty or difficulty going forward.”