In May 2021 we withdrew from the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) after recommendations from the body were once again disregarded by the Government, seeing officers with no uplift in pay despite the efforts and challenges faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the news of a police pay freeze earlier this year, we launched a national campaign with the aim to reset police-government relations and fight for a fairer pay system that acknowledges the tremendous efforts of police officers who risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe.
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 did 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.
Our previous submissions
On 29 January, despite the announcement of a public sector pay freeze, we asked for a 3 per cent pay uplift for police officers in England and Wales to recognise the vital part they have played policing the pandemic. We have also strongly advised that a thank you bonus is given to recognise the risks police officers have taken policing the pandemic.
"Police officers continue to put themselves and their families at risk and deserve to be paid fairly" - Read more.
On 7 February 2020 we, in conjunction with the Police Superintendents’ Association (PSA), published its submission to the Police Renumeration Review Body (PRRB) - the independent team which recommends to the Government what pay increase police officers should receive. In 2020 PFEW and PSA have recommended that police officers receive a pay uplift of 5% across all ranks. Last year officers were awarded 2.5%.
Over the past 10 years, when using the Consumer Price Index (including housing) method of calculating inflation, police officer pay has fallen in real terms by 8.7% - and when the Retail Price Index is used that figure becomes 18%.
‘Police officers do a unique job. They deserve to be paid fairly’ Read more
On 12 February 2019, 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.
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 our 2018 submission, accompanying news article 'Police Chiefs under fire over pay' and a blog from former National Chair Calum Macleod, all published on 5 February 2018.
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.
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.
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.