Following Fridays delayed publication of the joint Home Office (HO) and NCA’s NCARRB submission; all parties will now provide verbal evidence to NCA Remuneration Review Body in early May. These oral evidence sessions together with the written submissions will inform the NCARRB’s independent assessment of NCA Pay and the impact of on-going pay reform
The NCA /HO written submission now makes clear that the full impact of the HM Treasury imposed public sector pay pause extends way beyond the anticipated restriction on NCA officers receiving a headline pay award in 2021/22. Additional restrictions placed on the NCA will prevent the planned transitioning of more roles from the standard pay mechanism to Spot Rate (SR) pay ranges in the coming year. This restriction on NCA pay reform, will be bitterly disappointing to many NCOA members who would have elected to move to SR pay and was clearly not expected by the Agency, who until recently had been conducting preparatory work by identifying additional SR roles in Grades 1-5.
The NCOA pay team will provide robust evidence to the NCARRB that this additional unfair restriction, which is likely to have a negative impact on the Agency’s ability to recruit and retain officers in some of its most hard to fill roles in the coming year. Especially as other public sector organisations will retain more autonomy over their pay budgets and will continue to offer contractual pay progression to comparator officers.
It is disappointing that the Agency has not followed the NCOA in recommending that all Grade 6 officers receive the £250 uplift which was allowed for within the NCARRB remit set by the Home Secretary.
Proposals for reform of London Weighting Allowance will have to be delayed for at least a further 12 months. In any case, it is apparent that the Agency’s proposal falls some way short of the wholesale reform recommended by the NCOA in its ‘Bullseye’ Zonal model for Geographical Allowances, that closely aligns to equivalent allowances in policing in scope and value. The NCOA proposal would have immediately resolved the anomaly whereby some officers in the South East do not receive any allowance, although work from sites clearly within the catchment area.
In line with its previously documented recommendation, in oral evidence to the NCARRB, the NCOA will continue to make the case for a redesign of the Agency’s Non-Consolidated budget. In support of this recommendation, your NCOA Pay Team will provide information that in early 2020, the NCA forecasted an underspend of almost 20% in its Recruitment and Retention Allowance budget.
Significantly, the NCOA have calculated that an additional 60 roles could have been in scope to receive an RRA in 2020/21. Having previously challenged the Agency on the outcome of this year’s RRA allocation, as soon as this underspend became known, the NCOA asked the Agency to immediately divert it back to fund the RRA bids which had been dismissed by the Agency earlier. Rather than following this proposal, the Agency chose to use the underspent budget to fund other pay business away from RRA’s.
The NCOA’s written NCARRB submission is available for Members to read at https://www.ncoa.org.uk/media/1210/ncoa-7th-submission-to-the-ncarrb-feb-26th-2021.pdf. NCOA will continue to make the case for fair and equitable pay for all NCA officers.
Steve BOND - NCOA National Officer