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Wednesday 24 July 2019
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Policeman loses promotion lawsuit

He will move up once sick leave certificates submitted

A police constable who challenged the failure of the acting Police Commissioner to promote him while he was on extended sick leave has lost his claim.

However, PC Burnell Lloyd can expect to be promoted retroactively and receive his salary increases and all the benefits that go with the higher rank of corporal, once he submits some outstanding sick-leave certificates.

Lloyd challenged the failure to promote him to corporal from May 25, 2016, claiming it was unlawful, illegal, irrational, unfair and contrary to the principles of natural justice.

His lawsuit was heard by Justice Margaret Mohammed.

He joined the police service on March 1, 2000, and passed the qualifying examination for the higher rank in October 2008. He was interviewed by the promotions advisory board in April 2015.

However, in September 2015, Lloyd, who was stationed at the Central Police Station in Port of Spain, got into an accident while on duty and was unable to return to work, but was on continuous sick leave until May 23 this year.

In May 2016, he was put on the order of merit list at number 280 out of 358 constables. That month, 611 constables were promoted to corporal, but Lloyd was not one of them. He said he was never officially told the reasons for his being bypassed norgiven an opportunity to be heard. In defence of the lawsuit, Snr Supt Vernon Roberts said it was the practice that when an officer is on extended sick leave, injury leave or suspension, his promotion is delayed until he resumes duty. He said when Lloyd resumed duty he would be promoted and would be entitled to the relevant salary increases and all the benefits that go with the higher rank, with effect from May 25, 2016.

In her ruling, Mohammed said there was no regulation that placed a duty on the commissioner to give reasons for not promoting an officer, nor a right to be heard.

She also said Lloyd failed to prove he suffered prejudice, since he was to be promoted retroactively, and will be entitled to the accompanying salary, allowances and benefits.

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