If pension benefits are calculated on the reduced hours that an employee works because of their disability the fact it could be calculated in a more generous manner will not be enough to establish unfavourable treatment. In the case of Chief Constable of Gwent Police v Mr S Parsons and Mr D Roberts the question was whether that same principle would apply where a lump sum payment due on termination to a disabled employee was reduced due to their entitlement to an immediate pension?
Having been certified as unfit to carry out ordinary duties under the Police Regulations the claimants had become entitled to a pension on leaving the force. However rather than leaving they undertook office duties until an opportunity arose for them to leave the police force under a “voluntary exit scheme” which also qualified them for a lump sum payment. Taking into account that they would be entitled to a pension their lump sums were reduced from 21 and 18 months’ pay to just 6 months’ pay.
It was held that capping the compensation lump sum amounted to “unfavourable treatment” and that there was no reason to bring into account the “deferred pension”. The principles established in relation to the “the award of a pension” did not apply as in this case the employer was “capping the compensation lump sum”. This was clearly “something arising in consequence of [their] disability” and the entitlement to a pension payment had not justified that unfavourable treatment.