23 October 2018
The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has announced today that formal legal proceedings will now commence following the Government’s failure to act on police pay recommendations.
The staff association for police officers in England and Wales has lodged an application to Judicial Review proceedings into the lawfulness of the Government’s decision to ignore the recommendations of the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) for the second consecutive year.
The announcement comes following the derisory pay ‘award’ announced in July 2018 which saw officers pay increase by an insulting £2.50 a week. In terms of the amount that officers receive in their pockets the 2% amounts to a mere 0.85%**.
The PFEW recommended a 3.4% increase so that officers could be paid fairly for the dangerous job they do after years of austerity. The PRRB recommended a total of 3%.
John Apter, Chair of PFEW said the decision to take action was an easy one as PFEW was not prepared to sit back while its membership suffered: “We must have confidence in an independent pay review system and for that to be ignored by Government undermines the whole process. Our members do not have industrial rights so it’s important they know we will stand up for them and fight their corner. It is a disgrace that for the second year running the Home Office has cheated police officers out of the pay increase they should receive; this year officers are being awarded a derisory 2% increase, despite the recommendation of the PRRB - the independent body established by this Government to make evidence-based recommendations on police pay - that it should be 3%.
“In response to this betrayal and based on legal advice, PFEW has instructed solicitors to formally proceed with a Judicial Review against the Home Secretary on the basis that he has stated that the pay decision was a Government decision and not his decision alone.
“Now more than ever it is imperative pay is adequate and fair acknowledging the incredibly demanding job officers do. It is unacceptable to see officers struggling to make ends meet whilst working all the hours under the sun to keep the public safe because there simply aren’t enough officers to meet the increasing demand.
“Police officers must be treated fairly and have confidence that any independent pay recommendations will be accepted in full by the Home Secretary.
“I know the deep sense of anger felt by many of our members about the way they have been treated. This is why we have taken this action and make no apology for doing so. Doing nothing was simply not an option and it is right and proper that we legally challenge this unfairness.”
*This figure is based on the starting salary of a police constable which amounts to an increase of approximately £10 a month.
** The 0.85% figure is derived from the fact that of last year’s 2%, only 1% was consolidated. That 1% has now been removed by the Government for this year’s pay award, so taking into account pension contributions, then the actual uplift is worth approximately 0.85% to Constables.