Pay and morale

Every year, we invite our 119,000 members to take part in a pay and morale survey, giving them a chance to share their views and inform our work on pay and conditions, and general police morale.

Our pay and morale survey is the only survey to provide a national picture of officers’ views on their pay and conditions, and it is an essential way for us to keep in touch with our members’ opinions in order to represent these to government.

What do you do with the findings?

The survey provides an important source of evidence for our annual submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB), which advises the government on police pay. The PRRB take the views of officers very seriously, and last year - persuaded by data showing how the demands on officers have increased while pay has been suppressed - they broke with government policy in recommending a 2% uplift for all officers.

We also use the survey data to influence other policing stakeholders - for example, the College of Policing on initiatives such as competency-based pay. Also, HMICFRS have welcomed the robust and meaningful data, and now make use of the pay and morale survey findings in their national Police Effectiveness Efficiency and Legitimacy (PEEL) assessment reports. This ultimately benefits federated ranks by ensuring improved management and support systems. 

However, these are only some of many ways in which our members’ feedback via this survey is fed into our national and local policies. The survey also provides our local Branches with their officers’ views on pay and conditions, which helps when they discuss such matters with their chiefs and local MPs.

We also present results from the survey at high profile academic conferences, and have published in peer-reviewed policing journals. We believe that this enhances the standing of the PFEW as an organisation that demonstrates rigour and transparency in our data and policy. Ultimately, this activity helps demonstrate the credibility of the work and makes it harder to dispute findings – however unpalatable other stakeholders may find them to be.

2018 survey

Our 2018 survey found that more police officers than ever (7.8%) have taken second jobs. This is up from 6.3% of respondents in 2017. A staggering 44.8% said they worry about the state of their personal finances either every day or almost every day. And more than one in nine (11.8%) said they never or almost never have enough money to cover all of their essentials. This is up from 11% last year.

The vast majority of respondents, 87.9%, do not feel fairly paid considering the stresses and strains of their job.
This has never been more relevant after the Government’s recent announcement of a derisory 2% pay increase for police from September, which in real terms amounts to an uplift of just 0.85% - police officer pay has now decreased by around 18% since 2009/10.

More than 27,000 police officers - nearly a quarter of all ranks from constable to chief inspector - took part in the survey. The findings provide vital evidence to inform our work on pay and conditions.

2017 survey

Evidence from the 2017 pay and morale survey led to us insisting on an uplift for all officers of 3.4% is considered by the PRRB in 2018. Additionally, we have argued that the 1% element of last year’s uplift that was unconsolidated should now be consolidated and should not affect this year’s uplift.

Read the news release 'Cops’ morale plummets as job stress grows and pay dwindles' (published 30 August 2017), the 2017 national headlines report and full report. Individual force reports can be found on our Survey hub.

We also asked Canterbury Christ Church University’s Centre for Policing Research (CCPR), experts in the field of policing research and practitioner engagement, to take a deeper look at some of the issues raised in the 2017 survey. This new external research, which was published in July 2018, is an in-depth analysis of the qualitative data produced by the survey, looking at topics including Direct Entry and Licence to Practice.

2016 survey

We used findings from our 2016 pay and morale survey to help ensure that some of the less welcome proposals by other organisations were dropped, such as pay uplifts being unconsolidated and therefore not classed as pensionable pay, and the removal of overnight allowance.

Read the 2016 national headlines report - individual force reports can be found on our Survey hub.