COMPETANCE-BASED pay could be unfair and fail to recognise the hard work of long-serving and experienced officers, Hampshire Police Federation has warned.
The Home Office has announced its wish to end the link between pay and time served and instead focus on professional development.
Under the plans, a “pay progression standard”, due to be introduced by March next year, will see pay rises awarded when a Professional Development Review (PDR) has been completed. The matter has been sent to the Police Remuneration Review Body.
But Zoë Wakefield, Federation Chair, said: “If they want policing to go down that route then a huge amount of work needs to be done before it can be introduced. At the moment it just wouldn’t work.
“There is no way to measure a lot of aspects of police work. For example you could spend the best part of your shift at the sudden death of an elderly person and you might spend a few hours talking to and giving advice and comforting a husband or wife who has lost their partner of more than fifty years.
“That’s not measured anywhere but the difference that you make to that person is huge. You can’t see that on any charts, graphs or Home Office targets. So how do you assess that in terms of competency-based pay?
“There’s so many aspects of policing that aren’t measurable, so huge amounts of work need to be done before this could be brought in. It is possible but I’m very sceptical that it’ll be done in the right way. I think there will end up being a lot of unfairness and there’ll be a lot of people that don’t have the opportunity to achieve the competency so they wouldn’t then be able to increase their pay.”
She also questioned the impact competence-based pay would have on flexible workers. And the model could fail to recognise the important work carried out by police officers who spend 30 years as police constables and do an amazing job, Zoë added.
She said: “These people are doing a very worthwhile and valuable role and their pay should reflect that.”