Stourbridge detective turned civilian police worker wins claim for unfair dismissal

First published in News

A RETIRED Stourbridge detective who was given a civilian staff job with West Midlands Police and then lost it to help the force save £38 million has won a legal claim for unfair dismissal after a 15-month fight.

Alan Farmer, of Pedmore Fields, Stourbridge, whose police service goes back to 1983, was given a staff job at the West Midlands Police depot at Tally Ho at Birmingham in 2009 on an 18-hour week job sharing basis.

His job was training police officers in the techniques of carrying out investigations and interviews.

Birmingham Employment Tribunal, where Mr Farmer made his legal claim, was told his role played a crucial part in helping police officers perfect their work but that he became involved in a redundancy situation to help the police save £38 million.

Mr Farmer said at a previous tribunal hearing he was told every police department would be hit by the redundancy situation but they were not.

He questioned whether discrimination and victimisation had been involved.

The tribunal said at the time a decision would be made at a later date.

Now, 15 months after the first hearing, tribunal judge Derek Crump has announced Mr Farmer has won his case for unfair dismissal.

Mr Crump said the police had admitted that, despite retirements and voluntary redundancy for the civilian staff, the required saving of £38 million for 2012-13 would not be achieved.

Mr Crump said it was made clear in a letter from the police to Mr Farmer that he had not been advised he was under notice of redundancy and he could be transferred to the alternative employment register and apply for vacancies.

He continued: "Mr Farmer told the tribunal there were two posts he was interested in but he did not apply because they were of a higher grade. But he should have been given an opportunity to apply for them.

“The tribunal concludes that Mr Farmer’s dismissal was also unfair because he was led to believe his application for those posts would not be entertained.”

Mr Crump said a decision about Mr Farmer’s compensation award would be made at a later date.

West Midlands Police had opposed Mr Farmer’s compensation claim and said there had been a genuine redundancy situation.

They said more than 80 per cent of police expenditure was devoted to salary costs and the majority of savings had to be achieved by reducing civilian staff numbers.

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