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It's Compensation, Not A Replacement For A Lost Wage

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It's Compensation, Not A Replacement For A Lost Wage

Post by Urtica on Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:22 pm

Here is an interesting Parliamentary debate, which took place in 1962. It contains the argument that pensions for former officers injured on duty should see their pensions INCREASED at the age of 70, as there would then be few opportunities for them to earn any money to supplement their pension.

Compare that with the view of Mr Gilbert, civil servant, who, in Annex C to HO circular 46/2004 gave his opinion that:

'Once a former officer receiving an injury pension reaches the age of 65 they will have reached their State Pension Age irrespective of whether they are male or female. The force then has the discretion, in the absence of a cogent reason otherwise, to advise the SMP to place the former officer in the lowest band of Degree of Disablement.  At such a point the former officer would normally no longer be expected to be earning a salary in the employment market.'

Mr Gilbert has had his view rejected, in the strongest fashion, by it being declared unlawful (twice) by the Administrative Court. But you can see the mind-set. Gilbert thought that an injury pension was there as a substitute for a lost wage. He was wrong, but his mistaken view is still alive and well. HR managers and others still think that an injury pension is there to replace a lost wage.

It is not. It is compensation for injury received in the line of duty. Compensation paid by way of a pension, payable for life. It is a minimum income guarantee. The Regulations are blind as to how much or how little a person may earn, at any age. The amount of pension paid depends on only one thing - that is the degree to which a person's capacity to work (and thus earn) has been diminished by duty injury.

HR managers and SMPs need to be reminded, in the courts again if necessary, that they can not assess and quantify degree of disablement by comparing a former police wage with speculative earnings they think are achievable by a disabled former officer. PEAM and other wage-comparison mechanisms are measuring the wrong thing. They measure, in a completely theoretical way, the result of someone's capacity to work. What the Regulations say should be measured is the disabling effect of duty injury on a person's CAPACITY to work, the product of which is earnings.


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