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Chair on Pay Increase: Pay award is step in the right direction, but lack of South East Allowance increase a disappointment

21 July 2020

Police Officers in England and Wales will receive a 2.5% pay rise - to take effect from 1 September - 2020 after the Government accepted in full the recommendations of the Police Remuneration Review Body.

The Police Federation of England and Wales said that the 2.5% increase in pay across all ranks “is a step in the right direction and, whilst it is less than the we asked for, will be broadly welcomed against a backdrop of financial pressures on the economy.”

It was also announced that the Dog Handlers’ Allowance will increase by 2.5%, there will be the removal of the lowest point on the sergeants’ pay scale and that the London Allowance will increase by £1,000.  

The PRRB said “the whole issue of geographical allowances should be reviewed urgently” and did not increase the South East Allowance at all.

Mel Warnes, Chair of Surrey Police Federation, said: “The pay award this year of 2.5% is a positive step forward from the Government, especially in the current financial state the country finds itself in as a result of Covid-19. 2.5% is lower than what was asked for, but higher than some would have imagined. Although this is above the rate of inflation, in real terms police pay is still way below where it should be owing to years of pay freezes and austerity.

“It is disappointing though that the London Allowance has been increased by £1,000, but the South East Allowance has not seen any kind of increase. The South East is an expensive area to live and work in, not just London. Surrey is one of the most expensive areas to live and attracting and retaining officers is hard enough. The South East allowance remains a discretionary amount for Chief Constables and should be a fixed amount to benefit all those working and living in the South East.”

PFEW National Chair John Apter said: “In the current financial climate with so much uncertainty, the fact the Government has fully accepted the recommendations of the PRRB will come as a relief.

“Do my colleagues deserve more? Absolutely, and the Government must go further to pay officers fairly for the unique and dangerous job they do.  

“However, with the economic vulnerability we face as a country, many colleagues will be relieved to receive a 2.5% pay increase - anything lower would have been completely unacceptable.”

The PFEW in its submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body had asked for 5%.

Mr Apter continued: “It is positive to see the Government abiding by proper process and accepting all the recommendations of the PRRB. This has not always been the case.

“We will continue to fight to get our members the pay they deserve following a real-terms cut of 18% during the last decade, the effects of which have taken their toll.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "Our amazing police have responded to unprecedented challenges during coronavirus. To recognise their immense efforts, we will be increasing their pay this year. To everyone in the policing family - thank you.

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for pay and conditions, Chief Constable Matt Jukes, said: “The commitment of our officers to keeping our communities safe every day, not least during the recent challenging period, rightly deserves recognising.

“Given our difficult financial times, it is very welcome news the government has accepted the Pay Remuneration Review Body’s recommendation for an increase in police pay above the rate of inflation.

“Chief Constables welcome the endorsement of our proposals on targeted variable pay and sergeants’ pay. Taken together this will contribute to ensuring specific roles in the service are filled and to supporting the ongoing recruitment of officers.”