Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, another shock comes along.
I truly hope that any of you reading this that are currently serving officers are fit and well. I mean that, not a trace of sarcasm just for once. And even more so, I hope you stay that way.
It used to be the way (in the Met certainly, maybe our County friends can let us know) that if you were unfit for full duties a ‘Light Duties’ post could normally be found for you. The Job would look after you because, after all, it is a Job Like No Other. If you were unfortunate enough to be injured in the course of your duties and disabled to an extent that you could no longer carry out full duties this was taken for granted and, if necessary, a job was created for you, to say thank you for the sacrifice you had made serving The Queen.
Obviously you waved goodbye to overtime but basically you could rely on a full month’s salary inc Allowances at the end of each month.
And then along came Tom Winsor. I haven’t heard very much about it since the publication of Windsor II to be honest, and presumably people were hoping that it would pass un-noticed, but it was brought to my notice today that Mr Winsor, cheeky chappie that he seems, is looking to take £3,000 a year of officers who are not able-bodied enough to carry out ALL duties that may be required of them.
On Friday last week the Disability News Service carried an article that disabled police officers are fighting attempts to force them to accept £3,000 less in basic salary than their non-disabled colleagues. This was apparently tucked away at the back end of Winsor II and recommended that so-called restricted duty officers (those “unable to discharge the full range of police duties”) should be paid £2,922 less than those who were not on restricted duty. A body called The Disabled Police Association (DPA) is angry that the Police Federation (PFEW) , which represents rank-and-file officers, and the Home Office working group – which are both working on implementing the Winsor recommendations – have failed to consult those officers who would be affected by the reforms.
Neither has the College of Policing, yet consulted disabled people or revised its 10-year-old guidance to forces on disability in policing.
Susan Scott-Parker, chief executive of the Business Disability Forum, has written a letter to chief constable Alf Hitchcock, who leads on Equality, Diversity and Human Rights (EDHR) for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), and has copied it to the EDHR lead at the College of Policing.
This letter has not yet received a response, or even an acknowledgement.
PFEW apparently opposed this amendment to Pay and Conditions but the Police Arbitration Tribunal ruled against them.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “The Home Secretary has accepted the Police Arbitration Tribunal’s recommendation on pay relating to restricted duties.
“The reforms will make the process for managing injury and illness clearer and more transparent.
“Police officers will be able to see exactly what support will be provided to them, what timescales will apply and what factors will be taken into account during the decision process.
“It is imperative that forces continue to ensure the fair treatment of officers who suffer the misfortune of becoming sick or injured.
“We are now working on these reforms in consultation with Chief Constables, Police and Crime Commissioners and Police Staff Associations.”
So, there you are, stay healthy, fit and well, and definitely don’t get injured, because your reward may well be a £3k pay cut, or even the total loss of your job in return for a Disability Pension.