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Home Secretary asks the PRRB to submit pay claim despite deadlock

But she underlines 'affordability' of Uplift officers and ‘progress’ on pay reform

The Home Secretary has written to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) asking it to formally submit a pay claim recommendation for the 2022/23 pay round despite the decision by the Federation and Superintendents’ Association to withdraw from the process.

Priti Patel also makes clear in the letter that she wants any award recommendation to factor in ‘affordability’ due to the recruitment of 20,000 uplift officers within a three-year timescale. .

She also appears to fire a warning shot over progress in the implementation of a Pay Progression Standard (PPS) which will sever the automatic link between incremental pay rises and time served.

The NPCC has been pushing forces to implement PPS by April next year but due to its link to a performance related element it is far from clear forces will be ready by then.  

On the cost of the Uplift the Home Secretary states: “I ask that your recommendations and observations are considered in the context of the Government’s commitment to increase police officer numbers by 20,000 over three years.

“We must ensure that the affordability of a pay award is taken into consideration so that police forces are able to maximise the number of additional officers that they can recruit”.

On the PPS the Home Secretary asks the PRRB “to provide updated views on force readiness to implement the pay progression standard.”

In its submission to the PRRB in January 2021 the NPCC said the new system would ensure that no officer will progress up their relevant rank pay scale unless a Professional Development Review (PDR or appraisal) has been completed in accordance with the existing force process.

It said it consulted forces on the proposals in November 2020 and 94% agreed that the PPS broke the link between progression and time served, and "made sense in the context of pay reform."

However it warned: “The implementation of the PPS represents a step-change for policing in terms of performance management and in practical terms, will present challenges and involve increased costs.

“It also places increased responsibility on line managers to ensure timely completion of PDRs and the PPS decision, and forces will wish to ensure that there is sufficient time given to allow for this. It is, however, in line with our ongoing workforce plans and will act as a corner stone to the overall pay reform model set out in this submission.

“Forces have committed to implement the PPS by April 2022. 82% indicated that they would value further advice, guidance and briefing.”

The PRRB is due to submit its recommendations to the Home Secretary in May 2022. The Federation and PSA withdrew from the mechanism earlier this year in protest over the police pay freeze and government decisons to ignore pay award recommendations made by the PRRB.

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