Tribunal gives go ahead for overhaul of police pay and conditions


Tribunal gives go ahead for overhaul of police pay and conditions

An independent panel has paved the way for far-reaching changes to police pay and allowances in England and Wales.

The Police Arbitration Tribunal had been asked to arbitrate on 18 recommendations made by the Winsor Report Part 1, an independent review of police remuneration and conditions, commissioned by the Home Secretary.


The proposals were sent to the tribunal after the staff and official sides failed to reach an agreement on the Winsor proposals, covering a wide array of issues such as unsocial hours, overtime, incremental progression and competence-related threshold. In summary, the tribunal has approved 10 of the 18 recommendations, modified five of them and issued no award on three recommendations.

It is estimated that the changes will produce net savings of £163 million in 2012-13.

Home Secretary Theresa May will now have the final say on whether to ratify the agreement.

Reaction to tribunal

Police Federation chairman Paul McKeever said:

“We are extremely disappointed with today’s decision by the Police Arbitration Tribunal and know that many police officers across England and Wales will be angry and dismayed about their future. However, we entered in to the negotiation process in good faith and therefore, whilst not happy with the entire decision, accept their ruling.

“As part of staff side of the Police Negotiating Board, during the negotiations, the Police Federation of England and Wales recognised the financial difficulties this country faces. With this in mind, staff side tabled savings from police pay equivalent to the savings proposed by the official side that did not result in many of our members experiencing a disproportionate financial detriment.

“This considerable commitment to reform, together with the financial savings offered from police pay by a staff association, is unprecedented. The fact that the official side rejected the alternative proposals demonstrates that this is not about making fiscal savings but a conscious and deliberate attack on the police service.

“The arbiters have taken account of elements of the staff side evidence in their ruling today and we appreciate that had we not fought against the Winsor recommendations then the government would have proceeded to implement them in full. So, whilst disappointed, we will stand by the arbiters’ decision, which is a Police Negotiating Board agreement binding on both the official side and staff side. The decision as to whether to ratify this PNB agreement now rests with the Home Secretary.

“Moving forward, we will do everything in our power at the Police Negotiating Board to minimise the negative impact today’s decision could have on police officers.”

The Police Federation of England and Wales is a staff association for all police constables, sergeants and inspectors (including chief inspectors).


The independent review of pay and conditions of service for police officers and staff began on 1 October 2010. The Home Secretary asked the former rail regulator Tom Winsor to ensure that “police pay and conditions and the structures around them are the best they could be given the challenges facing the police service, which will see forces being required to achieve more with less, while also being fair to officers and staff”.

The review will report in two parts, covering short-term and long-term improvements.

The first report, published on 8 March 2011, covered:

  • the deployment of officers and staff (including shift allowances, overtime and assisting other police forces)

  • post and performance-related pay (including special priority payments, competence-related threshold payments for constables and bonuses at all ranks)

  • how officers leave the police service.

A second report will be published in January 2012, and will cover:

  • how officers enter the police service

  • how pay progression up the pay scales could be made fairer to officers, staff and the taxpayer, and whether the typical service length should be made more flexible

  • how officer and staff pay and conditions of service are decided (including the structures of the Police Negotiating Board and the police staff council).

Want to know more?

Title: Decision of the Police Arbitration Tribunal: Winsor Report Part 1, Police Arbitration Tribunal, 9 January 2012.

Availability: Download the Police Arbitration Tribunal decision from the Police Federation web site at

For more details about the Independent Review of Police Officers’ and Staff Remuneration and Conditions visit