Specialist police officers lose claim for tens of £million for overtime payments and allowances
Today Mr Justice Kerr dismissed a claim brought by some 400 Metropolitan Police Officers for payments and allowances in respect of their duties as members of the Royalty and Specialist Protection Command. Jason Beer QC and Jonathan Dixey acted on behalf of the successful Defendant, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. The judgment is available here.
The trial centred on whether the officers were entitled to be paid in respect of periods when they are not in full operational mode, yet not completely free from work related obligations.
In dismissing the entirety of the officers' claims (which were said by them to amount to tens of £million) Kerr J rejected the officers' submissions that there is a binary distinction in the Police Regulations 2003 between being on duty and off duty - there was, he held, a state in between the two extremes (including when an officer is on call - for which the 'on-call allowance' may be payable, as the Commissioner had argued throughout the litigation).
Kerr J also rejected the arguments advanced by the Claimants in support of their suggestion that they were entitled to the 'away from home allowance' (and 'hardship allowance', when they were not provided with a bedroom that had its own en suite bathroom), holding that the officers were not required to serve away from their normal place of duty, and were in any event carrying out their routine duties, which meant that they were not entitled to the allowances.
The Claimants' legal team had previously suggested that the claim was one of the most significant employment-related cases of the year.