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Police Review calls for shake-up of pay, training, conditions and fitness

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The Home Secretary Theresa May has received the final part of Tom Winsor’s review into police pay and conditions, which aims to create a “more skilled and effective workforce fit to face the challenges of the next 30 years.”

Windsor, the former rail regulator, was commissioned in October 2010 to conduct an independent study into how police in England and Wales are rewarded - the biggest examination of its type for more than three decades.

And his work concluded today with the publication of the second part of his review - into long-term transformation and modernisation of pay and conditions.

The recommendations, if accepted, will encourage the harmonisation of officer and staff roles and reduce the pressure on chief constables to make staff redundant in order to cut costs.

The report calls for the introduction of the Expertise and Professional Accreditation Allowance (EPAA) - worth £600 a year, awarded to officers if they have the right skills and work in investigation, public order, firearms, or neighbourhood policing.

It recommends shorter pay scale for sergeants ensuring that if an officer is newly promoted to sergeant, he or she will receive higher basic pay than the best paid constables, to recognise management responsibilities.

It says skills thresholds should be introduced into the pay scales of all officers. If officers pass a rigorous test to demonstrate they have the skills, knowledge and experience needed to perform effectively in their roles, they will be paid more than those who do not. It also advises officers should move to a system of pay progression on the basis of contribution, as assessed in annual appraisals.

In short it recommends awarding officers and staff based on their skills on shorter timescales.

Officers will be required to take an annual fitness test to ensure they are "fit and healthy enough to protect themselves", and can be deployed to the frontline whenever required. An officer who fails three consecutive tests will lose their X-factor pay and will be put through the unsatisfactory performance procedures

The report says a more robust and equitable process for managing officers on restricted duties is needed. Those officers in roles that do not utilise the skills or powers of a police officer, or who cannot be redeployed into public facing roles, should lose 8% of their basic pay (up to a maximum of £2,922) after one year on restricted duties. After a second year, they should be removed from the force, and offered the opportunity to apply for a police staff job if one is available.

But it also recommends a Direct Entry (Inspector) scheme - a new fast-track scheme, open to serving officers, to allow them to reach the rank of inspector rapidly. If they are part of the scheme you will be eligible for promotion after two years of intensive development and training.

For civilian staff, the report recommends officer and staff pay and conditions should be harmonised over time, with officer pay and conditions changing to become more like staff pay and conditions.

Civilian staff sometimes work alongside police officers, doing the same job, but for significantly less pay. The report calls for a more robust and equitable process for managing officers on restricted duties is needed.

Those officers in roles that do not utilise the skills or powers of a police officer, or who cannot be redeployed into public facing roles, should lose 8% of their basic pay (up to a maximum of £2,922) after one year on restricted duties. After a second year, they should be removed from the force, and offered the opportunity to apply for a police staff job if one is available.

The report recommends chief constables should be given new powers akin to compulsory severance for police officers to enable them to manage their workforce effectively in times of financial pressure, and ensure the right mix of officers and staff in the workforce.

The report calls for 'unsocial hours' payments for staff to be harmonised with those of officers so they should earn double time for any hours worked between 8pm and 6am. Staff overtime arrangements should be harmonised with those of officers, with Sundays paid at plain time whilst Christmas and seven other days that you nominate should be paid at double time.

It recommends both officers and staff should move to a system of pay progression on the basis of contribution, as assessed in annual appraisals. If they work hard and make a full contribution to the police service, they will earn more.

It recommends no national pay grading for staff, to give forces the flexibility they need to react to local labour market conditions, was advised.

But some serving officers will benefit from the removal of pay points, resulting in accelerated pay progression. Depending upon when you entered the police service, you could benefit by up to £9,141 over four years. New starters could reach the pay maximum in six years (rather than the 10 years it takes on the current pay scale) but will start on a lower rate than under current arrangements.]

For the full contents of the report chick here

The Association of Chief Police Officers lead on workforce development Chief Constable Peter Fahy said: "Chief officers look forward to reading this report and will carefully consider the recommendations. Police forces are facing a huge financial challenge but the need to reform the way our staff are rewarded and developed is not driven by money alone. Policing has become far more complex and specialised. Our staff want to see their individual talent and contribution recognised and the public want to see police effort targeted where it will have most impact.

"Chief officers have been clear that they want to move away from rank and length of service being the sole criteria for increased pay and take into the account the level of expertise staff have achieved and their contribution to meeting the public need. We have staff driven by a great sense of vocation and commitment to the public and it is crucial that their morale and motivation is maintained and that the police service can continue to attract the most able people.

"Chief officers have been clear that we will need radical approaches to absorb the current and future budget cuts and maintain the protection of the public. At the same time we must not put in danger the core ethos of service and self-sacrifice in policing that has served this country well."

Policing Minister Nick Herbert said: "We would like to thank Tom Winsor for his work in producing this wide-ranging and detailed document and we will consider carefully his recommendations.

'Our comprehensive package of police reforms will support the police in improving service to the public and developing professionalism - giving us a better crime-fighting force for the future.

'The existing police pay system was designed over 30 years ago. We want police pay and conditions that are fair and fit for the 21st Century.'

Winsor, who was assisted by former chief constable Sir Ted Crew and top economist Richard Disney, released the first part of his review in March.

Recommendations from the report into short-term modernisation and reform were considered by the police negotiating bodies. The Home Secretary accepted the verdict of the Police Arbitration Tribunal in January and work is ongoing to introduce the changes recommended.

If May wishes to implement the recommendations, they will be negotiated through the Police Staff Council in the normal way.