PNB Circular 2013/14 (Advisory)


  1. Agreement has been reached at meetings of the PNB on recommendations arising out of the Winsor Final Report on a revised constables’ pay scale, a revised sergeants’ pay scale, pay progression, public order allowance and casual overtime – specialist protection officers.Details are set out in the attached memorandum.
  2. This PNB circular remains advisory until specific approval of the Secretary of State for the Home Department has been given and does not confer authority* to implement the agreement. Once approval has been given, it will be promulgated in Home Office circular and in due course, the Secretary of State will make formal determinations.
  3. Any enquiries about this circular should be addressed to the Independent Secretariat at the Office of Manpower Economics (020 7271 0472), to the Official Side Secretary (020 7187 7341) or the Staff Side Secretary (01372 352003/4). Enquiries to the Independent Secretariat relating to the interpretation of this circular should be made in writing.

23 December 2013

* PNB Circulars form a single numerical series. Those which in themselves provide authority to implement an agreement carry the serial number alone, while those which are advisory are designated as such after the serial number.


The following agreements, reached in the Police Negotiating Board, are submitted for the approval of the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Constables’ pay scale (recommendation 55)

Pay points 6, 7 and 9 should be removed from the existing constables’ pay scale in April 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively.  This will allow constables to move to the maximum more quickly and ensure that the current and new[1] constables’ pay scales merge in 2016.

To prevent ‘leapfrogging’, whereby an officer with shorter service is placed on a pay point that could result in them reaching the top of the scale before an officer with longer service, implementation will involve some adjustment to incremental dates.  PNB has agreed the following assimilation procedure:

Constables’ pay scale – assimilation procedure

  1. The constables’ pay scale of 11-points will be reduced by 3 points over 3 years from April 2014. When a pay point is removed officers will not automatically move to the next highest pay point but will move instead in line with their incremental date.
  2. With effect from 1 April 2014 pay point 6 will be removed to create a new 10-point pay scale.
  3. With effect from 1 April 2015 pay point 7 will be removed to create a new 9-point scale.
  4. With effect from 1 April 2016 pay point 9 will be removed to create a new 8-point pay scale, the top point of which will be reached in 7 years.
  5. Anomalies will arise with these changes, whereby some officers will be overtaken in the pay scales by other officers recruited up to a year later, due to the inter-relationship between individuals’ incremental dates, the effective dates of pay point removal and the method adopted of accruing reckonable service from April 2014 at the end of the suspension of incremental progression. [2]
  6. To counteract these anomalies, changes to certain officers’ incremental dates were agreed, all of which, for ease of reference, are reproduced below. No changes will be made to incremental progression dates in 2014. The incremental dates of officers listed below will, for pay purposes only, change in 2015 in accordance with the following table:
Officer’s start dateIncremental date
Pre- 1 October 2004 starters:no change
Starters between 2 October 2004 and 31 March 2005:change to 1 October from 2015
Starters between 1 April 2005 and 30 September 2005:no change to incremental date until 1 October 2015. Officers then move to  pay point 9 (i.e. before it is removed on 1 April 2016) [3]
Starters between 2 October 2005 and 30 September 2006:change to 1 October from 2015
Starters between 2 October 2006
and 30 September 2007:
change to 1 October from 2015
  1. Anyone with a 1st October start date does not change. The above changes to incremental dates will need to remain in place until officers reach the top of the constables’ scale, in order to avoid yet further anomalies arising.
  2. All other officers move on to the next point in the scale in accordance with their normal incremental dates.
  3. Officers that continued to progress to pay point 3 during the suspension of incremental progression will move to pay point 4 at 1 April 2015.

Sergeants’ pay scale (recommendation 56)

Pay point 0 of the current sergeants’ pay scale should be removed from April 2014 to ensure that sergeants are always paid more than constables, consistent with the greater responsibilities of the job.

Pay progression (recommendation 84)

PNB has agreed that, subject to the caveats set out below, pay progression for officers in the Federated Ranks should be subject to a satisfactory box marking in the annual appraisal.  Those officers who receive a box marking of ‘satisfactory contribution’ or above should advance by one pay increment; those who receive an ‘unsatisfactory contribution’ box marking should remain on the same point for a further year.  This should be introduced for sergeants, inspectors and chief inspectors in 2014/15 and for constables in 2015/16.

The caveats are:

  • In reaching agreement PNB notes that recommendation 81 of the Winsor Final report deals with the training of line managers in the efficient and effective use of the PDR system.  This recommendation is a matter for the College of Policing.  However, the provision of this training, in advance of the introduction of the changes to the pay progression arrangements, will be critical to the successful implementation of the new arrangements;
  • Recommendation 82 of the Winsor Final Report concerns the use of forced distribution and has been referred to the College of Policing to decide whether it should be used within the PDR system.  PNB reached agreement on recommendation 84 on the basis that, should forced distribution be introduced to the PDR system, placing an officer in the bottom 10 per cent of the distribution would not result in the automatic denial of incremental progression;
  • Implementation of the changes to the pay progression arrangements will be based on a national PDR model developed by the College of Policing; that the system operates on an assumption of competence unless there is evidence to the contrary; and that, in the absence of a PDR, progression will be automatic.  The latter point is to ensure that an officer is not penalised as a result of a failure by their line manger to conduct the required PDR; and
  • Any denial of progression will be based on unsatisfactory performance in relation to the standards required for the role.  Denial of progression will only occur if an officer is subject to formal unsatisfactory performance procedures (UPPs) at the time of their appraisal.  This is to ensure that a consistent approach and consistent standards are applied to unsatisfactory performance in respect to both UPPs and incremental progression.

Public order allowance (recommendation 101)

PNB agreed that recommendation 101, which concerned the creation of a public order allowance when the EPPA was removed, should not be introduced.  Following the Home Secretary’s decision to accept the Police Arbitration Tribunal’s recommendation that the EPPA should not be implemented [4], the Board agreed that a large part of the rationale for the proposed allowance had been removed.  The Board agrees that, in these circumstances, matters of recognition of skills, qualifications and expertise are best taken forward within the framework of the overall development by the College of Policing of accreditation and qualifications.

Casual overtime – specialist protection officers (recommendation 103)

PNB agreed to reject recommendation 103.  PNB notes that discussions are continuing within the Metropolitan Police Service and that a timetable for these discussions has been agreed together with a mechanism for escalating the matter to PNB in the event that local agreement cannot be reached.

[1] Pay scale for new entrant constables introduced with effect from 1 April 2013 (Home Office circular 01/2013)

[2] Incremental progression suspended for two-years from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2014. Regulation 24, Annex F, Part 1A and Home Office circular 10/2012 provides further information.

[3] This means that those who joined between 1 April and 30 September 2005 move twice in 2015: firstly on their current incremental date and again on 1 October, which will become their new incremental date

[4] Home Office circular 01/2013