The Police Federation of England and Wales has stated 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 for 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 follows what the Federation refers to as the “derisory” pay ‘award’ announced in July which saw officers’ pay increase by an “insulting” £2.50 per week. In terms of the amount that officers receive in their pockets, that 2% amounts to a mere 0.85%*.
The Police Federation recommended a 3.4% increase such that officers could be paid fairly for the dangerous job they do after years of Government austerity. The PRRB recommended a total of 3%.
John Apter, chair of the Police Federation, said the decision to take action was an easy one as the organisation isn’t prepared to sit back while its membership suffers.
“We must have confidence in an independent pay review system and for that to be ignored by Government undermines the whole process,” urged Apter. “Our members do not have industrial rights so it’s important they know we will stand up for them and fight their corner. It’s 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%.”
Apter continued: “In response to this betrayal and based on legal advice, the Police Federation has instructed solicitors to formally proceed with a Judicial Review against the Home Secretary Sajid Javid 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’s imperative that police pay is adequate and fair, acknowledging the incredibly demanding job officers do. It’s unacceptable to see officers struggling to make ends meet while working all the hours under the sun to keep the public safe because there simply aren’t enough officers to meet the increasing demand.”
Emboldening the Police Federation’s message, Apter went on to state: “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. It’s both right and proper that we legally challenge this unfairness.”
*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 police constables