Reference: (2003) All ER(D) 287
Mr Skingle is a former local government employee who is now
retired. His pension depends upon his final earnings. Like many
other local government employees, he worked normal hours and
overtime. The question arose as to whether his final salary for the
purposes of computing his pension includes his overtime earnings.
The pension scheme excluded non- contractual overtime. Mr Skingle's
contract set out an agreed rate for overtime. But it did not
provide that either the authority or Mr Skingle could insist upon
any overtime working. There was no compulsory overtime.
The Ombudsman determined that Mr Skingle was not contractually
bound to work overtime. However, this did not mean that the
remuneration he received for doing so was non-contractual. On the
contrary, there were specific contractual arrangements for overtime
payments. Therefore, the overtime covered by the payments set out
in the contract was contractual and so Mr Skingle's overtime
earnings could be included in the computing of his pension.
The Ombudsman's determination left no possible meaning for
non-contractual overtime and the Ombudsman erred in law in his
construction of the Regulations.