Police bosses admitted unfair retirement policy

| 05/07/2017 | 21 Comments

(CNS): Both Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis and the former commissioner, David Baines, thought that the controversial retirement policy in the RCIPS that forced local officers to retire at 55 while their colleagues from the UK got to stay on the job until 60 was discriminatory, the court heard last week. When attorney Jeffrey Jupp presented legal arguments on behalf of a group of police officers taking action against the policy, he read from emails showing the police bosses admissions about the inequality and humiliation officers were subjected to.

The case, which is essentially a class action filed by around a dozen existing and former officers, claims that a policy which forced local officers to retire and only allowed them to return on short-term contracts as police constables, despite their previous rank, was discriminatory on the basis of age and nationality as it did not apply to overseas officers from the UK, in particular.

The human rights claim was filed in February last year and the case began in October but was adjourned for various legal reasons. The hearing recommenced this week, and when Jupp outlined the details of the claims by the officers, he argued that it wasn’t just his clients who saw the policy as divisive and discriminatory; that was the view held by both Ennis and Baines.

In one email about the difference between local officers being forced to retire at 55 while officers recruited from Britain were allowed to stay on the job until 60, Baines said, “…this makes no sense to me”, but the lawyer pointed out that because the practice of re-employing officers on short-term contract at the level of constable was a policy and not in the police law yet, he did nothing to change things.

Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis had also pointed to the “humiliating” policy of bringing back retired local officers as constables, even when some had reached the level of inspector before their enforced retirement, which was “manifestly unfair”. In an email relating to the issues surrounding the enforced retirement at 55 for local officers versus those from overseas, Ennis wrote that it was “hard” for officers to “suffer the indignity of returning as a constable”.

The lawyer, who is relying on the evidence from the senior management as well as the evidence from the group of officers filing the human rights claim, told the court that the RCIPS is entitled to establish its own retirement policies. 

But whatever it is, that must be applied across the board and the Attorney General’s Office, which is defending the police against the retired officers, cannot justify the discrimination against officers’ age and nationality and then subjecting them to the indignities of being re-recruited at a much lower rank after decades serving the RCIPS.

The case continues.

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Comments (21)

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  1. wawa says:

    every one blaming the English, the English did this , the English did that. It was the Caymanian law makers who did the police law and stated that any police officer below the rank of inspector must retire on reaching the age of 55. We should still have the majority of English police officers here , if Caymanians do not want to apply, they are disciplined, smart, and respectful. We are a British territory, no more a Jamacian federation.
    If we had more Biritish police the crime would sure go down. I’m a six generation cayman, and we been there.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Huh……isn’t the RCIP a Cayman police force? So would not all the decisions of when to retire be made by Caymanians?

  3. Messenjah says:

    Plain discrimination! Kudos to the Officers for bringing this case of undeniable discrimination. Don’t believe a word management is saying, they had to approve it even if they didn’t write the policy. So who wrote this policy? The AG office has to defend this? How? If we don’t keep our eyes wide open and call out what is happening then we are doomed to stay under their thumb

  4. Anonymous says:

    Another reason why Civil Servants and their employers should be bound by the Immigration Law and work permit regime.At least the there could be actionable complains from a board well placed to balance the interests. There could always be exceptions for the most sensitive of matters.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Certainly sounds to me like there was stupidity in the legislation itself that forced the RCIP to do this, the bosses wouldn’t have been so open about it otherwise. And who writes the legislation? The geniuses we elect…

  6. Sharkey says:

    I honestly think that these two different retirement age was made for a number of various reasons . Why would they want the Caymanian Officer to retire at 55 ? There can be allot of answers to that question . Like get rid of those Officers early , don’t want them in the force , don’t want them to be Chief, and any other reason you can think of .

    But why would the UK Officers be able to stay on till 60, could all the above mentioned apply. Then in retirement plans that I know about , the one that stays on till that specified age the more retirement benefits they gets, but if you take your retirement early the less benefits you would get .

    If the retirement plan has two different retirement age for two different Nationalities , then i would have to think that it’s done corrupted , stupidly , discriminatory .

    • Anonymous says:

      Sometimes Sharkey, you just spout rubbish….seeing shadows where they are not…Baines is English and disagreed with it. Who wrote that policy? That’s the question. Whoever wrote it may have thought they were doing the officers a favour, but clearly not the case with our cost of living…

  7. Anonymous says:

    You are devoid of understanding of the applicable legal principles, the law, and the relevance of taking into account the unique economic, cultural and social realities of Cayman.

  8. Jose says:

    There is no where else in the world this happens. There is a lot more injustice that happens to Caymanians and not only in the RCIPS.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The unfair policy forced me out also– I filed an unfair practice to the complaint office at that time–but nothing was done…..i worked in a different ministry

  10. Anonymous says:

    It absolutely is discriminatory and I can’t see how anyone could even consider enforcing this.

    And while we’re on this topic it is absolutely ridiculous that Cayman has allowed companies to force their staff to retire at 65. When governments in the rest of the world acknowledge that we all have to work longer because we are living longer and don’t have the funds to retire – Cayman says it’s ok to make people retire at 65! Only in Cayman…. just plain stupid.

    • Anonymous says:

      In florida ,U S A, , a govt. worker can work until one day short of being 67, we must retire before 67, so we can work until one day before 67. That a fact, you can check it out, if you want.

      • Anonymous says:

        No need to check anything out – I believe you. Government workers are the only ones who can retire – because they do so with handsome pension pots. The fact is we are living longer and Government has neither funds nor resources to give to people who have unfortunately exhausted their own pensions – which seem to be more of an exhaustible savings account than a pension. I was proudly told by my pension provider here that I’d get the princely sum of $1,000 per month until it had all been used up. I asked him: And what am I supposed to do then? Drop dead? An embarrassed silence from the other end of the phone.

        Short-sighted idiocy by the powers that be.

        • Anonymous says:

          Those of us in the private sector end up with a pension managed by private pension management companies who take such healthy fees – win or lose our investments – that we end up with only about 60% of what we actually invested! And being invested in overseas markets, when they fail, our investments also suffer huge losses! And then retirees have to face ever-increasing, uncontrolled costs of living on a meagre $1,000 per month! We should all be paying into a National Pension Plan controlled by requisite Govt. agencies who are allowed to invest in local companies, infrastructure and real estate and only minimally in overseas markets.
          Cut out the ‘fat cats’ private pension managers!

        • REB says:

          Why didn’t they just change the requirement. What was so hard about that?

  11. Anonymous says:

    There’s much more revelations to be made.

  12. Anonymous says:

    hello cayman! cayman islands no longer for caymanians…full stop?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Oh this is lovely. The Court might make a series of decisions which open the floodgates for the improper discrimination against non-Caymanians based on national origin. Working permit equivalency fees for PR holders and free education for primary and secondary aged children are two very clear examples, but there are many others.


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