Police on-call allowance fight goes to arbitration

The fight for police on-call allowance is set to go to arbitration after officials failed to agree officers should be paid to standby.

The Police Federation, which represents all 170,000 rank-and-file officers, has long urged the government to offer a nationally agreed payment for police officers any time they are required to be on standby. In many cases officers are on-call for 24 hours, during which they are not allowed to drink and must be ready to work within 30 minutes.

The organisation claims officers have the right to be rewarded fairly as other professions working on-call do, such as NHS doctors.

But last week the Official side of the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) failed to acknowledge that any on-call allowance was needed, and the matter will be referred to the independent Police Arbitration Tribunal.

Ian Rennie, general secretary of Staff Side of the PNB, and the Federation, said: “To provide the necessary frontline resilience police forces and officers must be flexible, but this voluntary flexibility by officers must be recognised. We’re not asking for any new money to fund the on-call allowance, there are sufficient funds within the Special Priority Payments to cover this.”

He added the on-call allowance should be seen as a tool to reward officers who go above and beyond the call of duty. “Police officers understand that 24/7 policing will impact upon their personal lives but it is only right that anything that goes beyond what is considered ‘reasonable’ that impacts on their family life should be financially recompensed.”

The Police Federation claimed it has been calling for on-call allowance for four years.

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