The Scottish Police Federation represents all police officers in the ranks of constable, sergeant, inspector and chief inspector, police cadets and special constables; over 18,500 people, 98% of all police officers in Scotland.
The Scottish Police Federation are concerned that some Local Authorities may be withdrawing childcare support for police workers during the summer holidays. COVID19 may prevent Police and Staff from making alternative arrangements so we need to understand how widespread this issue is.
We are working in partnership with Police Scotland to identify if this is a widespread issue or just in some areas and would invite any officer of member of staff to let us know if their childcare support is being withdrawn by completing the questionnaire at spf.org.uk/summer20.
The following update is from our Travel Insurer Voyager Travel. SPF have no further information and any additional enquires should be directed to Voyager
At the moment the FCO advice remains not to travel indefinitely. This has no end date but is being treated by insurers and travel companies as reviewable. Therefore you should not cancel a pre- booked holiday at this stage and we suggest wait until nearer the time before doing anything.
If current travel restrictions are lifted and there is no other FCO advice against travelling to your destination
- You are covered to travel under the insurance policy for all elements of cover provided the holiday was booked prior to the 17th March.
- If the holiday is available but you choose not to travel this would be classed as disinclination to travel and no claim is payable by either the insurer or the Travel Company.
- If you think the holiday is likely to go ahead, but you will not go anyway then you should discuss this with your travel company. They may offer you a credit note against another holiday or rearrange the original plans. There is no insurance cover for this scenario.
- If you, or somebody else covered on the policy becomes unwell before the travel date, and are medically certified as unfit to travel then the cost of the holiday may be claimable through the Insurance, subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions shown in the policy wording and provided the holiday was booked prior to the UK lock down on 17th March. You will need a medical certificate to confirm that you are not fit to travel in these circumstances.
- If you do travel and become unwell abroad then the policy will cover you for medical expenses incurred including matters related to Covid-19 provided that you or they are not travelling against FCO advice or the advice of the Doctor, subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions shown in the policy wording.
- No claim can be made on the insurance for any costs recoverable from another source.
If current travel restrictions remain in Force
- If you have booked a package deal your holiday company will contact you nearer the time you are due to travel. They will generally offer you a credit note or re-booking of your original holiday for a later date. Under current EU Regulations if your holiday is a package deal you are not obliged to accept this and you can insist on a refund from them.
- If you have booked flights and accommodation separately then you should be able to get a refund on your flights under EU Regulations of they start or finish in the EU. In terms of accommodation this may be a bit trickier but you are usually due a refund if the service has not or can’t be provided as a result of lockdown. The insurer would only consider a claim once other avenues are exhausted. The cancellation and curtailment element of a policy is designed to cover you when holidays are available but you are unable to go. They are not designed to cover companies who cannot or do not provide a service but still want to keep hold of your money
- Ensure your holiday and travel company are backed by ABTA/ATOL which means that your money remains protected.
- For additional protection we would suggest that use a credit card to pay for your holiday, as in the event that your travel company goes into liquidation you are covered under the Consumer Credit Act for purchases over £100.00. Whilst you could get your money back in this situation through ABTA/ATOL it is often quicker to claim through your credit card in this situation.
Booking Future Holidays
We are starting to get some queries around booking holidays for next year and what the situation is with travel insurance.
- Insurance is about covering the unexpected. As Covid-19 is a known event that is likely to give rise to a claim there is no cover for cancellation and curtailment, travel disruption or travel delay for holidays booked after 17thMarch 2020.
- Medical cover whilst abroad will be in place provided that there are no restrictions against travel in place at that time. Travelling against FCO advice would invalidate your insurance.
- Due to EU Regulations a package deal generally offers greater protection than accommodation and transport booked separately.
- If you are booking flights and accommodation separately talk to your travel provider and check the refund policy in the event that restrictions are in place at the time before booking and parting with any money– obtain confirmation of this in writing
- As above pay on a credit card rather than bank transfer/ debit card.
- This is a really fast moving state of affairs so things can change as the circumstances develops. Members should ensure before travelling, or booking a holiday they make themselves aware of the current situation and advice and be guided by those.
The Scottish Police Federation (SPF), supported by the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents (ASPS), has engaged Thompsons Solicitors to launch a compensation claim against the Government, on behalf of subscribing members who were victims of discrimination due to the introduction of the 2015 CARE scheme.
It is important to note that the UK Government has already stated it will remedy the discrimination for all of the UK’s public sector workers and not just the Judges and Firefighters who brought the successful action.
Whilst the Government has agreed to amend the pension regulations so that you do not suffer any financial detriment when you retire, there are other payments which you MAY only receive if you lodge an Employment Tribunal claim. These include a small payment for injury to feelings and, where appropriate, compensation if you have recently retired on less favourable terms or have incurred unnecessary fees for financial planning.
Subject to some obvious limitations ALL subscribing (and some retired) members are eligible to join the claim. The SPF and ASPS will confirm the eligibility of all applicants with our solicitors and ineligible applications will be struck from the claim.
Members who may already have lodged claims with another lawyer or law firm should discuss with them the potential to be released from any individual contractual arrangements they entered. Such Members will need to demonstrate that they have fully terminated their relationship with their former representatives in order for our solicitors to be able to take over the claim. The Law Society of Scotland will not allow our lawyers to accept an instruction from any member who is already being represented by someone else.
Details on other limitations from joining the claim can be found on the Thompsons portal.
A letter and terms and conditions from the solicitors will be available for members to read and accept, setting out the basis upon which the claims will be pursued on their behalf.
If you would like to submit a claim, please click on the link below and register your information with our solicitors. They will then assess your claim and lodge it with the Employment Tribunal if you are eligible to claim. You should not assume that a claim has been registered for you unless you receive written confirmation that it has been lodged.
The scheme will be open for registration for a period of 21 days from 26 May 2020 to 16 June 2020. It is likely that these claims will take several months (or years) to reach a successful conclusion. Our lawyers will provide you with regular news and updates as the claim progresses.
The online portal for registering a claim can be found here: http://www.spfpensions.co.uk/
The registration process works best on a desktop, tablet or laptop. If you are having problems with registering your claim, please call Thompsons Solicitors on 0800 80 12 99 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
The SPF appreciates many members will have individual inquires in respect of their own personal pension circumstances. This action is not about the remedy position but separate discussions are taking place to ensure a myriad of different circumstances are considered by the Government when remedy is finally applied. This is a long and complicated process but the underlying principle of no detriment is one being adopted by all parties in these discussions.