Picard999

COMPULSORY SEVERANCE: The mother lode

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So, I have had delivered unto me EVERYTHING relating to the proposed introduction of compulsory severance for police officers of non-pensionable age in England and Wales

When I say EVERYTHING, that's no exaggeration - there's emails, minutes, PNB discussions, PABEW discussions, letters, other correspondence etc etc..staff side and official side, the whole wrangle.

I'm guessing I'm at 600 pages (and they are double sided)

Let me be explicit - boy, did we dodge a bullet here!

You will all remember the proposal was rejected and will not be implemented, as Theresa May famoulsy said, 'at this time'. Albeit, its one that is widely regarded as circling back round for another go after the next election in the event of a Tory victory and further austerity.

The highlight so far, 40 pages in....

The proposal to reduce officers in rank so they can be redeployed rather than made subject of CS (to retain their skills, but reduce their pay....) (this would obviously require a change of regs etc etc...)

There's some nice detail too about mitigating the pension loss (buying out loss using redundancy payments, allowing officers to commute 25% of their lump sum when 2.25 annual pensionable pay would otherwise have applied)

A ton of stuff too from the staff side over the whole severance / redundancy issue and that they think it would be problematical to make a bobby redundant when others, well, continue bobbying!

If anyone has a specific query, shout em out and I'll go digging...

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OK, getting to the meat now:

Draft guidance for the national implementation of CS

2.3: Forces must exhaust every proportionate organisational tool possible to avoid the use of CS for police officers. It is available as part of the range of workforce management tools, but is to be used as a measure of last resort after all other proportionate mechanisms have been considered. Those should include:

Altering recruitment and / or promotion board plans

Geographical redeployment (including between forces)

Redeployment between roles

Agreed external redeployment

Consideration of natural wastage

Existing mechanism of Regulation A19

Use of the voluntary exit scheme

2.4: A force that is considering using CS MUST have run a VE scheme beforehand

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And we're moving firmly into 'Cheese puff' will understand this better than most territory here:

1987 Pension: "The mitigations (for those not at pension age when subject to CS) proposed by the official side would allow members to access their pensions from the minimum pension age of 55. In cases where actuarial reduction is applied, members would have the option of sacrificing their compensation lump sum to buy out some or all of the actuarial reduction. If the lump sum was not sufficient to fund an unreduced pension, the employer would have the discretion to make a top up payment'

2015: Members of the 2015 scheme with accrued rights in the 1987 or 2006 scheme would effectively have two pension pots. The mitigations available for each scheme would apply to each of these pots.

This a member with accrued rights in either scheme would be able to access their 1987 or 2006 scheme pension from the minimum pension age of 55, with actuarial reduction as appropriate. The member would have the option of sacrificing their compensation lump sum to buy out some or all of the actuarial reduction.

Edited by Picard999

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No surprises on the compo - per the civil service 2010 scheme:

Voluntary exit: Maximum 1 months pay (gross) for each year of service (maximum 21 months (gross) + 3 months notice

Compulsory severance: 1 months pay (gross) for each year of service (maximum 12 months (gross) + notice

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It was ready to go - complete with written guidance for forces.

We can only hope that post the election any new government would have to start from scratch...

That's a minimum 2 year gig, I'd guess...from start to implementation, given what has gone on here...

Having said that, with no PNB and PAT, it might just be: Here's one we made earlier...have it!

There was detailed discussion re VE being used and open to all prior to CS being invoked....many would welcome the opportunities that would bring...

Edited by Picard999

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If the Tories win in May, CS will be coming at a quick time pace.

Perversely, given what Picard has disclosed so far, I would hope it does happen quick, because if everything starts again from scratch, I am sure the terms will not be a generous as what was first proposed.

Here's praying for a new govt with no Tory input next May.

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' There's some nice detail too about mitigating the pension loss (buying out loss using redundancy payments, allowing officers to commute 25% of their lump sum when 2.25 annual pensionable pay would otherwise have applied) '

This bit would have suited me tbh with 27 years done and 51 years old, chance to go early with very little lost in way of lump etc

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PNB working party 3/6/13

13. The official side secretary said that they were trying to design a scheme which was unique to the police service. It was important not to become ore-occupied with the difference between severance and redundancy

********* ******** said that the position of the official side had changed since the PAT hearing .They now appeared to want to use CS for workforce modernisation purposes

.....the official side considered that it would be unhelpful to restrict the use of schemes to a very narrow range of circumstances

..the staff side wished to avoid the risk of chief constables targeting individual officers by placing them in particular posts with a view to removing them through CS later on

...the official side secretary said the official side expected forces to implement A19 in order to avoid the use of compulsory severance, unless there was good reason not to...

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Ok, here's my summary of the proposals around restricted officers:

Worth noting, this could change, but it is very much as originally proposed, and it's due in place in a couple of days, so we won't have to wait long to find out!

There will be a change to regs, and some new robust definitions will be applied:

'Management restriction of duty': You have been removed from the evidential chain. You are protected and you are excluded from having your pay cut under this new reg

'Recuperative duties': You're ill or have an injury - you'll probably get better soon. It is unlikely you are heading for a pay cut (my take on this is broken leg etc etc, should get better). You've got 6 months or a year in exceptional circumstances to get better. If you do, all well and good. If you don't then you move on to the below category, by way of moving along a conveyor belt towards a pay cut...

'Adjusted duty': Duties undertaken by officers, short of full duties in respect of which reasonable adjustments have been made to accommodate an officer's disability. For the avoidance of doubt, this definition applies only where the adjustment is to the range of duties, not in every case where an adjustment is made. Where adjustments are made that enable an officer to perform duties requiring the office of constable that officer would not be on adjusted duties

A proposed change to regs is mooted, so that: 'Consequently, an  officer who has insufficient capability to undertake work which requires the office of constable could, subject to the provisions of the police (performance) regs, be required to leave the force' (per the list below)

After a year on adjusted duty, you'll be reviewed. From there, back to work, ill health pension, more adjustments, change of role, stay in role.

Subject to appeal, if the officer remains adjusted, pay can be cut 8%.

It's worth noting, if you go from recuperative (1 year), to adjusted (1 year),  you could have two years before a pay cut is considered.

In either case, once you have had a year with pay cut, the options are thus:

Return to full duties

Ill health pension

More adjustments

Removal of adjustments

Change of role

Stay in role

If not disabled and not competent at full constable role then can resign and be given staff role

If refuses to resign, begin proceedings to dispense with services

And to finish - don't forget to comply with the Equality Act...

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Is there any evidence in the documents to support the theory that our pensions were sold down the river to prevent severance coming in?

Really interesting question and one I have looked into already

From the off, the fed were making it clear that pensions and CS were inextricably linked, but not perhaps for the reasons we might think

My take on it is that the fed were keen to point out:

Basing CS on the civil service scheme was a non-starter as a comparator....the higher pension age for civil servants effectively meant there was little or no pension detriment for them compared to police officers who would get hammered - it is this point at won the arbiters over...a double detriment (lose job, delay pension) on top of everything else that had happened to officers

That appears to be something the official side weren't aware of / hadn't considered and to be fair there's some real work shown on mitigating the pension loss for police officers

These include, as above:

A: Using your compo to buy out any pension deficit resulting from CS, with chief constables discretion to cover any shortfall

B: Allowing officers who don't get to 30 years to commute 25% of their pot regardless (nice move)

C: Allowing those who got CSed prior to 25 years to take their pension at 55 (subject to actuarial reduction, that again can be bought out with compo and topped up by the chief)

The fed also used the argument that CS was a step too far, given everything else that had already happened to officers and used the argument that It would be a nightmare to implement given the three pension schemes it would affect

In terms of horse trading? No. Looks like the fed were as gob smacked as us that CS was delayed

Throughout, other than the pension detriment caused by CS, the official side's position was that the two had nothing to do with each other and were separate pieces of work

My view of national fed, I have to say, has only been enhanced by what I am reading. They engaged, when it must have been tempting not to. At every stage they pointed out the legal and logistical nightmares that these proposals would cause. They costed viable alternatives that were fairer and that they would sign up to. They did everything they could given the realities they were faced with

Did I ever think I'd be saying that!

Not withstanding, national Feds comms have been and remain a disgrace. We are mere months away from a new pension scheme - no detail. We are a couple of days away from the instigation of policies around paycuts for restricted officers - no news.

Just weeks ago, the fed won a MAJOR concession getting actuarial reduced pension ages lowered from 57 to 55 and had to be informed of this...by folk here!

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I signed up as a sworn Constable of the Crown (twice, having left and re-joined!!), swearing allegiance to HM The Queen in front of a magistrate. If/when my back injury might me from recup to "adjusted" to whatever next, if it does, where is there legislative entitlement to change my status from sworn Constable to civilian for the purpose of implementing getting rid of me? Surely I must be medically retired if unable to continue my terms of contract due to injury, whether incurred on duty or not?

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