One of the five forces who have been taken to tribunals by former officers of the force claiming age discrimination and unfair dismissal has justified its decision to make officers to leave the force citing budget cuts.
Nottinghamshire police force which had forced officers out of their jobs after 30 years service has stood by its decision saying that comprehensive spending review by the government had made them to force officers below the ranks of chief officer with 30 years experience to leave their jobs under the policy called regulation A19.
Central London Employment Tribunal – where a handful of test cases are being heard – was told by a human resources manager from Notts Police that discrimination was justified because of the "budget situation
Margaret Monckton, assistant chief officer for resources at the force, said in her witness statement that Notts Police had to make a monetary savings amounting to about £42 million.
The tribunal heard the decision to implement regulation A19 was made by the Nottinghamshire Police Authority after a meeting in December 2010, despite a 44-page advisory report drawn up by employment lawyers warning the policy could breach employment laws on age discrimination.
Paul Gilroy QC, representing claimants from the Police Superintendents' Association, asked Miss Monckton if she thought she should have taken "personal responsibility" to inform the Police Authority of the need for proper justification for age discrimination. She said she did not, to which Mr Gilroy replied that it was an absolute mockery of the system.
The tribunal judge – James Taylor – interjected during the cross-examination to put it to the witness that Notts Police could be in "treacherous waters" if it did not have a justification for age discrimination.
She replied that the force was more concerned as how to maintain performance if workforce had to be reduced. There was an awareness of the age discrimination perspective on this, but it was felt that that they had justification for it, given the budget situation.
Devon and Cornwall, North Wales, South Wales and West Midlands police forces join Notts in contesting the allegations.