Home Secretary’s pay remit letter sparks concerns

11 December 2017

Calum Macleod, Chair elect

Calum Macleod, PFEW Chair-Elect

The Home Secretary’s letter to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) issued last week, on 7 December, setting out plans for the annual review of police officer pay has sparked unease within the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW).

The PFEW has written to the Chair of the PRRB expressing concerns that the remit letter for police pay in 2018/19 gives the impression that pay and reward plans being formulated by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) are more advanced than we believe them to be and the PRRB is being asked to make decisions based on them.  This puts the review body in an extremely difficult situation and is grossly unfair to staff associations submitting evidence to them on behalf of police officers across England and Wales.

The Home Secretary’s remit letter asks the PRRB to make recommendations on pay based on four areas including:

  • NPCC proposals and a timetable for a new pay structure
  • NPCC proposals for apprenticeship pay
  • NPCC proposals for time limited targeted payments to address recruitment and retention pressures
  • and observations on NPCC reform proposals and their timetable.

The PFEW has made clear that, given the lack of completed plans shared by the NPCC to date, this creates a significant challenge in terms of the PRRB being able to identify any unintended consequences, or the degree to which the plans may be acceptable and a workable solution for police officers.  Submissions to the PRRB are being requested by early February 2018.

Commenting on the position, Calum Macleod, PFEW Chair-Elect, said: "We have serious concerns that the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) is being set an invidious task, expected to make recommendations based on a lot of NPCC ifs, buts and maybes.

"Police pay is far too important to officers across England and Wales to base assumptions on blueprint schemes and ideas. It is grossly unfair, not only to expect the staff associations representing those officers to be able to properly represent their interests without all the detail of the proposals being shared, but also to the PRRB who will be expected to try to make recommendations based on loose assumptions."