Police Advisory Board for England and Wales
117th meeting, 17 July 2019, 10.30am
Conference Rm 3a, Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF
Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC)
National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC)
Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW)
Police Superintendents’ Association (PSA)
Kate Halpin (by telephone)
Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association (CPOSA)
College of Policing
Independent Office of Police Complaints (IOPC)
Met Trade Union Side
Department of Justice Northern Ireland (DOJI)
Welcome and Apologies
1. DCC Janette McCormick attended her first meeting representing the College of Policing. Rachel Jones and David Paul were also attending for the first time (NPCC) as was Neil Rhodes (CPOSA). All were welcomed by the Chair.
2. Apologies were received from Alex Duncan (PFEW) and Ron Hogg (APPC).
Minutes of the meeting 30 April 2019
3. Minutes from the last meeting were agreed with no further amendments and will now be published on the webpage.
Action Point 1: Secretariat.
Matters arising/action log
4. The Chair went through the action log, which has been updated.
5. Action points 2, 3 and 4 were related actions on the re-joiners guidance issued by the College and are now complete.
One remaining action was for the insertion of a factual statement about the position of re-joiners in relation to pension scheme membership. It was considered particularly important to make clear to members of the 1987 scheme that if they were to leave the police service they would, on re-joining, be eligible only for membership of the 2015 scheme.
The Home Office agreed to provide a suitable factual statement for inclusion by the College. It was also agreed that if further changes were proposed they would be brought to PABEW.
Action Point 2: Statement on the pension position for re-joiners to be drafted – Home Office.
UK Police Pensions Consultative Forum (PPCF) and Scheme Advisory Board (SAB)
6. The Chair explained, that as a trial, on 1 July the PPCF and SAB had combined agendas for a joint meeting. The intention was to reduce duplication without losing the benefit of the input of the wider membership of PPCF, and in particular that of the devolved administrations.
While the next meeting will be held in Edinburgh it was also considered that as meetings were quarterly, with input from a variety of speakers, it might be appropriate to hold two meetings in London between meetings in Edinburgh and in Belfast. The changes will be reviewed as part of a standing agenda item at each meeting.
7. The meeting benefited from input from Rob Jenkins, Head of Pubic Service Pension Policy at HM Treasury (HMT). He was able to answer a number of questions of concern to the group and made clear that an evidence base needs to be provided to consider any changes to the approach to the commutation cap, or to the current rules on Annual Allowance.
8. Kevin Courtney (NPCC) had drafted a letter setting out evidence for consideration by the Home Office Policing Minister on the arguments for reconsidering the rules relating to Annual Allowance.
It was agreed at the meeting that this would be amended to take account of the discussion and of any relevant arguments arising from the publication of a consultation being conducted on this matter by Department for Health.
Action point 3: Letter to Policing Minister on AA to be drafted – Kevin Courtney.
9. On 15 July, HMT had issued a Written Ministerial Statement on the implications of Sargeant/McCloud judgement. Angela Chadha (Home Office) explained that there would now be a Tribunal hearing so it was likely to be September or October before the detailed proposals for implementing the judgment would be known.
10. There was a discussion about the risk of reaching a solution to the problem posed in the cases of Sargeant and McCloud and in so doing creating another unfair situation for members of the 2015 scheme.
Amar Pannu (Home Office) undertook to raise these concerns with HMT. She will also reiterate the request made at the subcommittee meeting for a clear statutory reference to explain the basis of the pause in the operation of the cost cap mechanism following the valuation of the police pension schemes.
Action point 4: Home Office pursue point on pause of the cost cap mechanism with HMT.
11. Angela Chadha confirmed that HMT is committed to involving staff associations in discussion. The Chair suggested that as discussions continued it might be sensible to establish a technical working group to work with HO/HMT on these matters.
Action Point 5: Secretariat/Kevin Courtney to consider the benefit of a technical working group.
12. The Chair updated members on the presentation by the Pensions Regulator (TPR) at the Scheme Advisory Board meeting. On the whole, the police forces had done better than previous years however it was still surprising that some forces did not appear to have the six key elements required by the regulator in place.
13. The area of particular concern was cybercrime, suggesting a lack of appropriate processes and procedures, which did not fit with members’ perceptions of the actual position. This would be taken up with forces to see whether there was a problem which needed to be addressed.
14. It was agreed that the slides from the presentation would be circulated to PABEW.
Action Point 6: Secretariat.
15. The Sub-Committee met on 11 July.
16. NPCC had provided a submission on the value of hair sampling for the drug testing of officers. It had been agreed that the subcommittee would look in more detail at the papers submitted, but would also want to know whether the Home Office intended to review the current regulations relating to testing.
17. The use of Police Regulation 13, used to dismiss probationary officers, had also been discussed. While NPCC considered that the current wording of regulation 13 remained fit for purpose members expressed concerns that legal advice had not been sought and its use in relation to participants in the direct entry schemes had not been legally tested.
Update on Capability Dismissal business case
18. The technical working group met on 23 May 2019.
19. Emma Plummer (Home Office) explained that a business case was being developed for paying compensation where the capability dismissal process was used.
The Home Office had taken legal advice on possible age discrimination arising from the proposed solution which was, therefore, being reconsidered by the NPCC. Emma Plummer confirmed that nothing would be put to HMT without the working group considering it first.
20. Following the working group, the NPCC had circulated for comment the latest version of its accompanying guidance. John Partington (PFEW) raised concerns that the document did not reflect the most recent working group discussions on the policy intention.
Rather than repeat comments PFEW and PSA had already made, a joint letter to the NPCC was being prepared to say that the staff associations do not feel it is appropriate for them to do the work of the NPCC and that the NPCC should amend the document to reflect working group discussions. His concern would be passed to Kath Lowe who was working on this for the NPCC.
Action point 7: Emma Plummer to pass concerns about guidance on capability dismissal to NPCC.
Consultation response on voluntary exit payment cap
21. The Chair sent a response on behalf of PABEW to the HMT consultation on the voluntary exit payment cap.
Update on forthcoming legislative changes relating to police terms and conditions
22. A paper was tabled for information and discussion showing forthcoming legislative changes.
23. It was noted that Peter Spreadbury (Home Office, Acting Head of Police Workforce and Professionalism Unit), had discussed with Paul Griffiths (Vice President of Police Superintendents Association) the regulatory changes which might be needed to effect the determination on a defined 40 hour week for the superintending ranks.
Home Office lawyers are currently working on the changes. Dan Murphy (PSA) questioned whether regulatory change was needed as Scotland had made the changes needed through a short ministerial statement.
Issues arising from the introduction of Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) entry route
24. While recognising that routes for entry to the police service are a matter for the College and not directly matters for PABEW, John Partington said PFEW had a number of concerns arising from PCDA which might have wider impact.
Attention was also drawn to the application made by the Chief Constable of Lincolnshire for Judicial Review of the College in relation to implementation of the degree requirement. Janette McCormick (College of Policing) explained that there was a structured process through higher education providers which should protect the time needed by apprentices to study.
She was keen to receive from PFEW any evidence of problems arising in the early adopting forces. John Partington said in due course PFEW would write to the College of Policing and NPCC outlining their concerns and would send a copy to PABEW members.
Any other business
25. The PABEW annual report will be drafted over the summer period and sent for Members comments with a view to submission to Ministers in early September.
Action point 8: All members.
Date of next meeting
26. The date of next meeting would be held on 17 October 2019.
Table of actions
|Action point||Actions||Date of the meeting||To be completed by||Status – to be updated and recirculated before the next meeting|
|1||Publish minutes of 30 April meeting on webpage.||17 July 2019||Secretariat||Completed|
|2||A factual statement on the pension position for those re-joining would be provided to the College by the Home Office.||17 July 2019||Home Office (Amar Pannu)||Ongoing|
|3||Letter on evidence for a change in the rules for AA to be re-drafted.||17 July 2019||NPCC (Kevin Courtney||Completed|
|4||Home Office to raise the concerns of the meeting with HMT.||17 July 2019||Home Office (Amar Pannu)||Completed|
|5||Secretariat/Kevin Courtney to consider setting up a technical working group on post Sergeant/ McCloud and AA issues.||17 July 20190||Secretariat/Kevin Courtney||Ongoing|
|6||TPR slides to be circulated.||17 July 2019||Secretariat||Completed|
|7||Concerns about guidance on capability dismissal to be passed to NPCC.||17 July 2019||Home Office (Emma Plummer)||Completed|
|8||Comments on draft annual report (once circulated) to be provided during August.||17 July 2019||All members||Completed|
31 July 2019
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