HL Deb 19 March 2001 vol 623 c123WA
Lord Bradshaw

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in view of the implications for sickness management policies, an appeal is to be lodged against the decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of R v Sussex Police Authority ex parte Stewart.


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton)

I understand that, having being refused leave to appeal by the Court of Appeal, Sussex Police Authority sought leave to appeal from the House of Lords. This was refused on 2 November 2000. No further appeal in the proceedings is possible.

As a result of the judgment in this case, it is clear that a police officer's "ordinary duties" under the Police Pensions Regulations 1987 (as amended) should be interpreted to include operational duties. It is likely that this interpretation will result in more officers being certified to be permanently disabled from performing the ordinary duties of a police officer.

Under the Pensions Regulations it is, however, a matter for the police authority to decide whether or not an officer should be retired on health grounds. If there is, in the view of the police authority, a sufficient range of duties that an officer is capable of undertaking there is no requirement for it to set a date for retirement. The Court of Appeal made this point in its judgment.

It would, however, be more satisfactory if the current regulations were to be amended so that it is clear in future that a police officer is not permanently disabled from police duties if able to perform a sufficient range of the duties expected of his or her rank. We therefore expect to consult the police service about the precise terms of revised regulations later in the year.