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Two Employer Model For Police Staff ‘Flawed’

Union says morale will be hit and different sets of terms and conditions will emerge

Government plans for a two employer model for police staff, which will see them split between PCCs and chief constables, will damage morale further and could result in different sets of pay and conditions, it has been claimed.

Public sector union Unison says the planned divide of police staff, earmarked for April 2014, would double the number of police employers from 41 to 82 “in a time of public sector austerity”.

There is also the potential for “different approaches to the employment relationship and pay and conditions”, the union said.

All police staff are set to transfer into the employment of PCCs on November 22. Currently most are employed by police authorities but come under the direction and control of chief constables.

It will then be up to the two parties to decide which staff will transfer into the employment of chief constables in 2014 – bringing the new model into existence.

But the Police Lead for Unison, Ben Priestley, said a “three employer model” could be created in certain forces if police outsourcing continues to spread. In Lincolnshire Police for example, it would mean there are police staff employed by G4S, the PCC and the chief.

A Unison statement added: “We want our members in police forces to be employed by the relevant force as a body corporate, rather than this relationship being vested in a single individual, or worse two individuals.

“In our preferred model, the police staff members working for Avon and Somerset Constabulary, for example, would be employed by Avon and Somerset Constabulary.”

The Home Office has said it is in regular contact with unions “to work through any staff transfer issues”.

However, a Home Office spokesperson added that the department would ensure “there is clarity on any pension implications”.

She said: “There are already two sets of staff – for example, those who are under the direction and control of the chief constable and those directly supporting the police authority.

“When the transition from police authorities to PCCs happens in November the new status will merely enable formal line management relationships to reflect direction and control.”

She added that the initial transfer of staff into the employment of the PCC would help “provide important continuity in their early days”.

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