Police Federation

Appendix 1 – Methodology

This appendix details the calculations behind the pay analysis used to produce figures 1-4, showcasing new SMF analysis. It explains the sources and methods used, while also addressing potential limitations.

Figure 1: Nominal annual gross pay for select occupations and sectors
These calculations were derived from ONS employment and labour market data. First, it drew upon earning by occupation data, covering police and protective service officers from 2000 to 2023. cite

For police officers and protective service occupations, data is reported separately for senior and non-senior staff. The analysis takes an average of these, weighted based upon the number of jobs in each category, to combine senior and non-senior pay into a single occupational category. ONS data was also used for public and private sector earnings, covering the same period. cite

House of Commons Library data was used for recent MP earnings, cite while previous library briefing papers on members’ pay was used for timeseries data. See Appendix 5 Pay growth involved a straightforward calculation of the percent change for respective occupations between
2000 and 2023.

As indicated in the footnotes, there are some limitations to this data. First, ONS pay data for 2023 as currently provisional, and may contain inaccuracies. As a result, figures used in this briefing may undergo revisions over time. There is also a methodological change between 2005 and 2006 in the ONS pay data series, while police officer pay is unavailable for 2002. Though we suggest a degree of caution while interpreting this data, we consider these minor considerations that do not significantly impact the results of the analysis.

Figure 2: Real annual gross pay change
This chart uses the same calculations as those in Figure 1, but with an added consideration for price inflation. To do this, mean nominal pay for police officers, protective service officers, public sector workers, private sector workers, and MPs in 2000 and 2023 was adjusted for the level of CPI in 2000. The real difference between 2000 and 2023 is then shown as a percent change, showing inflation-adjusted pay and how it has changed over time. ONS Consumer Price Index data
served as the basis for 2000 CPI figures. cite The same caveats highlighted in Figure 1 are also applicable to Figure 2.

Figure 3: Projected real-terms pay index
Drawing on the same data, we then looked at the potential impact of ongoing inflation trends. The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) was used as a predictive tool, revealing an extrapolation of -1.1 per cent for police officers, -0.1 per cent for protective service officers, 0.4 per cent for public sector workers, 0.1 per cent for private sector workers, and 0.0 per cent for MPS from 2000 to 2023. To maintain comparability between different professions, the September 2023 pay deal is not taken into account here, as the comparable pay deals for other professions are not available. These CAGR calculations were taken from the real-terms pay estimates outlined in Figure 2, providing a smoothed representation of rates and offering a gradual measure of price growth over time. CAGR figures were then applied to workers’ 2023 earnings, projecting earnings change over the next five years until 2028. The CPI inflation rates for 2024-2028 were sourced from OBR forecast data. cite

Figure 4: Nominal annual starting pay
To establish 1979 earnings, data from the Home Office was used for new constables cite and Bank of England data was consulted for the average worker. cite 2023 earnings drew upon Police Federation reporting of constable pay scales, cite while latest average worker pay was drawn from the ONS. cite To account for inflation, real earnings were calculated using 1979 Bank of England CPI data, cite and current ONS data for 2023 prices. cite Pending the release of Q4 figures, all workers earnings data for the whole of 2023 is currently unavailable. Data from Q3 2023 has been used instead. Were full year 2023 used for figure 4, pay for all workers would be expected to be slightly higher.

We use cookies on this website, you can read about them here To use the website as intended please... ACCEPT COOKIES