Chief Constable of South Yorkshire v Lloyd Kelly
This legal judgement was handed down by the Court of Appeal in England & Wales in November 2021. By way of background, the Applicant (Mr Kelly) was required to retire in 2005 as a serving police officer due to permanent disablement. Although his disability arose from injuries suffered in the course of his police service, it was not until in/around 11 years later that Mr Kelly applied for an injury on duty (IOD) award under Regulation 11 of the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006. In July 2017 the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire awarded the appropriate gratuity and correctly calculated the annual amount of injury pension due to Mr Kelly but failed to appropriately consider back-dating the award to the date of entitlement. Rather, the Chief Constable made the award based on the date of claim. It was ultimately found by the court that the Chief Constable was wrong to equate the time when it was determined that there was an entitlement with that entitlement coming into existence.
When the final judgment was handed down, Board Officials referred it immediately to the Board’s legal advisors to consider what (if any) next steps were required in this jurisdiction.
The Board had received comprehensive legal advice which highlighted that there is a marked difference in approach to how applications are processed in this jurisdiction compared to the process applied by the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire which was subject to judicial scrutiny. Namely, in every case in this jurisdiction, the Selected Medical Practitioner (SMP) (and Independent Medical Referee on appeal) will be asked to consider the implementation date for any award i.e. the date on which the applicant can be classed as “permanently disabled”, pursuant to the 2006 Regulations and therefore the date on which an applicant became entitled to an award. This is the distinguishing factor from the subject case in which Mr Kelly’s IOD award was implemented from the date of application.
On the advice of the duly qualified medical practitioner assessing the case, the Board will backdate payment to the appropriate date of entitlement.
As a result of the Judgment the Board has received a number of enquiries from former officers, their representatives and political representatives. Board officials have implemented a process to review all files in which ex-officers have raised queries following this Judgment to satisfy itself that payment of monies has commenced from the correct date.
The Board is continuing to receive enquiries from former officers and their representatives and are responding to these on a case by case basis to confirm that despite the specific circumstances of the Judgment, there is no automatic entitlement in law to the backdating of an IOD award to the date of retirement.
 The corresponding regulations in Northern Ireland are the PSNI and PSNI Reserve (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 (the 2006 Regulations), with the equivalent regulation being Regulation 10.
POLICE PENSIONS AND INJURY BENEFITS BRANCH