With the recent release of the 2018/19 Pay Scales for Police Officers across the UK, here we offer a brief FAQ to address some of the most common questions surrounding police pay.
1. How is pay decided?
Ultimately, police pay is set by the government. However, recommendations for what this pay increase should be are carried out by the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB). The body was established by the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, and became operational in September of the same year.
Founded to make recommendations to the Prime Minister and Home Secretary on police pay, the PRRB receives written submissions from interested parties that include the Police Federation, Superintendents' Association, Chief Officers and PCCs.
2. What did the PRRB recommend to the government this year in terms of pay?
The PRRB this year recommended:
- a 3 per cent increase in officer pay in line with inflation
- consolidation of the 2017/18 bonus payment (one per cent) into a single, unconsolidated increase for all officers
However, the government decided not to award this in full.
3. What were the pay rises and when do they come into effect?
Pay increases for 2018/19 have now come into effect, as of September 1st 2018. This year's changes to salary and remuneration have consisted of:
- a two per cent pay increase for all police officer ranks
- a two per cent increase to the London weighting payment
- a two per cent increase to the dog handlers' allowance
As a result, pay scales have been now amended for all police officers in line with these updated figures. Read our 2018/19 Police Pay Scales guide for further details.
4. What are the prospects like for police pay in the near future/long-term?
With the future of police pay linked closely to government spending, there is the possibility that Prime Minister Theresa May's recent pledge to "end austerity" may prompt a rethink on the present situation regarding minor pay increases for officers year-on-year.
However, it is important to understand that any future pay increases will be examined by the PRRB and pay is only reviewed on an annual basis. As a result, there is little possibility of any short-term increase in earnings, but this may change in the years to come.
5. Is there ever room for negotiation?
Unfortunately, no. As previously mentioned, the PRRB makes its recommendations annually to the government in the setting of police pay and the final decision is taken jointly by the Prime Minister and Home Secretary.
6. Are medically-retired police officers included in the increases?
No. Medically-retired officers will not be included in these increases. Once retired, pensionable income is not linked to current police pay structure.
7. Do these pay scales and salary increases only apply to police officers?
Yes, the 2018/19 Pay Scales and Salary increases affect serving police officers only. Police Staff and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are not included in this annual review.
8. What does it mean for staff?
Police staff pay is overseen by the Police Staff Council (PSC). This is a body made up of trade body representatives for police staff (Unite/Unison), the Local Government Association, the National Police Chiefs' Council and the Home Office.
Levels of remuneration for police staff are issued and addressed separately to those of police officers. These figures therefore do not impact individuals who are not serving officers.
9. Does this affect my pensionable income?
For those approaching retirement, their pensionable income will increase in line with the agreed two per cent uplift in salary for 2018/19.
However, the National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO) confirms that once retired, officers are not affected by changes in existing levels of pay for serving officers.
Instead, their pension is linked to the Consumer Price Index of Inflation (CPI) and is uprated each April. The level of increase is determined by CPI in September of the preceding year.
To find out the pay scales by rank and pay point in 2018/2019, click below to view our guide.