With the recent release of the 2019/20 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?
This year the PRRB recommended:
- a 2.5% pay increase for all police officer ranks
- a 2.5% increase to the London weighting payment
- a 2.5% increase to the dog handlers' allowance
- an increase in the On-call Allowance from £15 to £20
It was a recommendation accepted in full by the Government.
3. What were the pay rises and when do they come into effect?
Pay increases for 2019/20 have now come into effect, as of September 1st 2019. This year's changes to salary and remuneration have been increased fully in line with the PRRB's recommendations (listed above).
As a result, pay scales have been now amended for all police officers in line with these updated figures. Read our 2019/20 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, the uncertainty caused by Brexit and an ongoing political stalemate in the UK means there can be no guarantees that police pay will increase above the amount set out in this year's pay review.
That said, the Police Federation of England and Wales continues to push for higher levels of remuneration for police officers. It requested as part of the body's 2019 submission to the PRRB that police pay in 2019/20 should increase by an above-inflationary level of 5%, followed by similar increases in both 2020/21 and 2021/22.
While these recommendations were taken into account by the PRRB when setting its own recommendation to the government, they did not fall in line with the body's final assessment.
Many bodies provide their input to the PRRB in determining its recommendations each year; however, it is important to understand that pay is only reviewed by the government on an annual basis. As a result, there is little possibility of any short-term increase in earnings, but this situation may change in the future.
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 2019/20 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 2019/2020, click below to view our guide.