We make an annual submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) on behalf of our members.
The PRRB provide independent advice to the Government on pay and conditions for police officers who are at or below the rank of chief superintendent. This includes allowances, hours of duty, leave, and related matters.
The findings from the pay and morale survey of our members, the only police workforce survey to gather consistent data on officers’ experiences across all 43 forces, forms a key part of our submission.
The PRRB reviews our submission, and those of other stakeholders, then advises the Government on a course of action.
Legal proceedings lodged against the Government over the pay review process
In October 2018, we lodged an application to Judicial Review proceedings into the lawfulness of the Government’s decision to ignore the recommendations of the PRRB for the second consecutive year. In January we heard that our application had been successful. Subsequently, in March, the then Policing Minister agreed to review the Police Consultative Forum (PCF).
There is now an independent chair for the PCF who will fully review the decision-making process; making it a clearer with new timescales and clarification of the relationship between the PCF and other bodies.
Who are the PRRB?
The PRRB was set up in 2014, replacing the Police Negotiating Board. There are currently six members of the PRRB, which is chaired by David Lebrecht - an employment relations consultant to major corporate clients and an ACAS arbitrator who has previously held a number of roles, including Head of Employee Relations at British Airways.
How does the process work?
Before making their recommendations to the Government, the PRRB considers evidence from a number of organisations, including us, the Police Superintendents’ Association, the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and the Home Office.
Key dates for 2019 submission
What do the PRRB consider?
The Home Secretary's remit letter to the PRRB for 2019/20 can be read here. It requests recommendations on the following matters:
1. How to apply the pay award for 2019/20 for police officers of all ranks, including chief officers, in the context of how it will support overarching NPCC proposals and timetable for a new pay structure.
2. To review the NPCC’s design principles, framework and assumptions for pay reform; and to provide views on the extent to which the views of the staff associations have been considered in the development of the design.
3. To review the NPCC’s detailed project plan and risk register and provide observations on the timescales for implementation, taking into account the requirement for formal consultation with the staff associations and the need to make legislative changes.
4. To review the NPCC’s proposals for progression pay for police apprentices.
5. To review proposals from the NPCC in relation to making payments to the superintendent ranks for undertaking each 24 hour on-call period.
As well as submissions from staff associations, they also have a number of other considerations they must take into account. These include the nature of the job police officers do, the need to recruit, retrain and motivate suitably able and qualified officers and the prohibition on police officers being members of a trade union or withdrawing their labour.
Our 2019 submission
On 12 February, we put forward our written submission recommending a three-year pay deal to rescue police officers from a financial cliff-edge.
Using the NPCC’s own pay mechanism and data, and taking into account proposed ‘P factor’ payments (which we think should be 14%, in line with X factor payments to the military), we calculate that constables are already up to 18.4% below where they should be, and sergeants up to 19.4% below.
Therefore, we are proposing a 5% uplift in pay for police officers this year, followed by 5% in both 2020/21 and 2021/22.
Our 2018 submission
On 24 July 2018, the Government announced a 2% consolidated (pensionable) pay uplift for police officers for 2018-19, going against the PRRB's recommendation of 3%. London Weighting and Dog Handlers' Allowance was uprated by 2%.
Read out 2018 submission, accompanying news article Police Chiefs under fire over pay and blog from former National Chair Calum Macleod, all published on 5 February 2018.
Our 2017 submission
In September 2017, the Government announced a 2% award in the form of a 1% pensionable pay rise across the board, plus 1% as an additional amount of money this year, non-pensionable - all paid for out of forces' current budgets. London Weighting and Dog Handlers' Allowance was uprated by 2%.
The PRRB also recommended the introduction of appropriate, targeted arrangements in 2017/18 to allow local flexibility for chief officers to make additional payments to police officers in hard to fill roles and superintending ranks (this interim measure has a time limit through to September 2020). They also requested a police workforce and pay reform plan from the Home Office, National Police Chiefs' Council and College of Policing specifying the strands of reform, their purpose, lead responsibilities and the implementation strategy.
Our 2016 submission
The PRRB sided with the PFEW on four of the five main aspects of police pay on which they were asked to make a decision.
The PRRB agreed that, in line with the PFEW’s evidence, the pay increase should be consolidated, dismissing chief officers’ views that it should be non-consolidated, which would have meant the increase would not have been pensionable pay.
The PRRB agreed that public holiday pay should not be reduced and Away from Home Overnight allowance shouldn’t be scrapped. They also agreed that London Weighting and Dog Handler Allowance should go up by 2%, and that the South East Allowance should go up.
Unfortunately, due to Treasury direction, the PRRB stayed within the 1% pay cap, rather than accepting the PFEW’s suggested 2.8% pay rise.