The Court of Appeal handed down judgment today in a group action for non-payment of allowances brought by 400 specialist police officers who formed the Royalty and Specialist Protection squad. The group consisted of Close Protection Officers, who are the bodyguards to the royal family and senior politicians, and Static Protection Officers who guard the royal palaces and government buildings.
Jonathan represented them throughout the litigation both in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
Police Officers do not have contracts of employment and are paid in accordance with a statutory framework, the current form of which was extensively revised in light of the review of police pay and conditions by Sir Tom Winsor in 2011. The dispute centred on the entitlement of the officers to the Away from Home Allowance which was introduced to compensate them for times spent away from home on police duties. The Secretary of State introduce the allowance through a determination which defines the entitlement of all police officers nationally. Entitlement principally depends on whether an officer is ‘serving away from his normal place of duty’ as long as he is not, using a time honoured phrase, ‘carrying out routine enquiries’, an expression which the Court of Appeal described as ‘thoroughly obscure’.
The Court of Appeal in the end upheld the judgment of the High Court in favour of the Metropolitan Police.
The judgment can be found here.
Jonathan Davies has extensive experience of employee wages disputes and multi-party litigation.
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