The Police Federation of England and Wales has warned chief constables against penalising officers by taking away their right to double time on Bank Holidays, branding the move “counter-productive”.
The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) has recommended scrapping additional Bank Holiday pay, except for Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
In its submission to the Police Pay Review Body (PRRB) last month, the NPCC suggested that officers should instead be given nine extra annual leave days a year. But the Police Federation has called on chiefs to think again.
Given that officers are often called in on Bank Holidays to police commercial or semi-commercial events, such as Notting Hill carnival, forces should charge event organisers to cover the costs, said the Federation.
“This is a solution that is fair to the tax payer, as well as to officers. We believe it would be counterproductive to penalise officers by taking away their right to this bank holiday when there are other routes available to fund this,” it said in a joint response with the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales.
They also argued that it would be “odd” to remove the payment from the police service, when the fire brigade and NHS still pay double time on Bank Holidays.
While chief constables suggested the new system would follow the “Scottish model”, the staff associations pointed out that Scotland had not implemented the Winsor recommendations and therefore officers north of the border retain other pay and conditions.
The Police Federation and Superintendents' Association also reiterated their call for the Away from Home Overnight Allowance to be maintained.
The allowance, which was introduced following the Winsor Review, has been described by chief constables as a “high-administration method of delivering low-value reward”.
However, the staff associations argued that an alternative, such as a bonus payment, would require “significantly more administrative effort”.
The Home Office, NPCC and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners have called for a one per cent pay rise for officers, while the Police Federation and Superintendents' Association have asked for a 2.8 per cent rise, in line with the private sector.
“We are concerned that officers' pay has already fallen substantially behind over the last five years, with a real terms decrease of 13.6 per cent since 2010, and that the emerging gap between private and public sector pay is likely to create a difficulty in recruiting and retention,” they said.