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South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority v Beever and ors - Interpretation of an attendance criterion leading to additional remuneration [2010] EAT

A requirement for an employee to show a "commitment to achieving high levels of attendance" in order to qualify for an additional payment does not mean that he is automatically disqualified from receiving the payment if he has taken any specified amount of sick leave; it is, rather, to be interpreted as an indicator of his attitude towards attendance at work, which is best judged by his line manager.

Mrs Beever and three of her colleagues – Mr Tonge, Mr Buckley and Mr Martin – were employed as firefighters by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority (SYFR). From 1st July 2007 SYFR introduced a national "Continual Professional Development Scheme" (CPD Scheme). Under the Scheme, employees with at least five years' service became entitled to an additional payment of £915 if they could provide written evidence, on an application form, that they satisfied a number of criteria. The Scheme's Guidance Notes referred to a national standard that involved a "commitment to achieving high levels of attendance", and included the following advice to employees: 

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