Nottinghamshire police retirement was unlawful

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Nottinghamshire’s use of regulation A19 to require officers with more than 30 years’ pensionable service to retire was unlawful, an Employment Tribunal has ruled.

Almost 100 officers left the force between April 2011 and March 2012 when the force introduced A19.

But the Police Superintendents Association of England and Wales and the Police Federation brought an action against five police forces, including Nottinghamshire, challenging its legality.

The hearing heard evidence from ACO Margaret Monckton, former ACC Ian Ackerley and former Police Authority chairman Jon Collins.

It also heard from four former Nottinghamshire officers who were made to retire because of A19.

Now, after hearing final submissions from all sides earlier this week, the tribunal has ruled that Nottinghamshire, Devon and Cornwall, West Midlands, North Wales and South Wales did not use A19 lawfully.

Rebian Solicitors, which represented police officers in Devon & Cornwall Police and Nottinghamshire Police, said: “We are pleased to confirm that the Employment Tribunal have today ‘unanimously found that the use of Regulation A19 requiring the retirement of our clients was not a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.”

“Our clients’ claim for indirect age discrimination has succeeded and we believe the decision of the Employment Tribunal is absolutely right and vindicates our clients’ complaint about the treatment they received at the hands of their respective Force.

“The Forces gave little or no concern or consideration to the individual officers, whose long serving careers were abruptly brought to an end.

“Today’s decision comes at the end of a three year legal battle following our clients’ dismissal from their Police roles and the end of their careers without choice or compensation.”

Chief Constable Chris Eyre said: “It was necessary for the police authority to consider the use of regulation a19 as a result of the wide ranging austerity measures affecting public services.

“This was a very difficult decision for the Authority and one which was taken after extensive consultation with officers who had 30 years’ pensionable service and the relevant staff associations.

“Had there been other viable alternatives the Police Authority would not have made the difficult decision to implement A19.

“This has been a lengthy hearing during which all parties involved have had an opportunity to explore the complicated legal issues that surround this regulation and the particular circumstances of each of the forces involved in the litigation.

“Prior to A19, along with other forces, we sought expert legal advice and from the very outset were confident our use of the regulation was lawful and fair.

“We note the decision of the employment tribunal and need some time to consider our position going forward. We are actively considering an appeal and therefore unable to comment further at this time.”