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Pay award delay brings more frustration

The Government is delaying making an announcement on officers' pay award until September, a move criticised by the chairman of Leicestershire Police Federation.

Tiff Lynch says the decision will further frustrate officers already under pressure due to the Government's budget cuts.

"MPs start their summer recess today and then do not return until 5 September so it will be weeks before officers learn what pay increase they will receive - if any," says Tiff.

"Everyone is hoping that the Government will lift the one per cent cap on public sector pay increases to give officers a better increase in pay but the Chancellor of the Exchequer seems to be resisting calls to do that."

The delay comes despite the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) meeting an earlier than normal deadline for submitting evidence to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB), which determines police pay, in December 2016. The PRRB also met the deadline for submitting its recommendations to the Government.

Steve White, chair of PFEW, has expressed his frustration at the delay.

He explains: "One of the key elements of creating the PRRB was to set out a process that allows any pay award to be implemented from September. We worked tirelessly to submit our evidence in a timely fashion and the least the Government can do is honour its side of the process."

Addressing officers and the Home Secretary at the Police Federation's annual national conference in May, the national chair also made it clear that the Government must remove the shackles from the PRRB and allow it to be the independent body it is supposed to be. He has repeated this message.

"Restricting the ability to implement recommendations based on solid, detailed evidence, hardly embraces an independent approach. The pay body process should be consistent across the public sector and Government alike," says Steve.

Any pay increase sanctioned by the Government will be back-dated to September but it could leave officers out of pocket for months since forces need time to implement any changes.