NCOA Underlines its Pay Position to both NCARRB & NCA


Dear Members,

You will be aware that on the 24th October 2023, the NCOA presented its pay submission to the NCARRB at an oral session in Victoria. At that time, although we had a good assessment of the Agency’s pay case, it had previously been revised several times and we were unsure whether there would be any late changes before final publication.

The NCARRB understood that in presenting our evidence to them prior to the publication of the NCA pay submission, there remained at least a possibility, that we had been restricted from making accurate observations on the Agency’s final version of its pay case. Accordingly, following the Agency’s eventual publication of its pay case on the 13th November, the NCOA were called back to address the NCARRB again on the 29th November to focus on the Agency’s pay case and the £1500 in particular.

Whilst we have been briefed by the Agency on difficulties experienced in securing the published pay case (often on an embargoed basis), we have not been privy to any engagement beyond the Agency Pay team briefings. Importantly, the NCA pay submission has not been produced following consultation with the NCOA - it was presented to us as ‘fait accompli’, with informal explanations as to why it has taken the final shape, we have now all seen.

Although we fully understand the detail within the Agency’s pay case and have listened politely as to why it is presented as it is, we fundamentally do not agree that this is the best pay case that can be made for the 2023 pay award for our members.

Therefore, at our most recent session with the NCARRB, we used the opportunity to repeat our consistent message which was first presented to the Agency at a formal meeting with Graeme Biggar on the 14th August,

• That the Agency should fight to secure a minimum 7% consolidated pay award.
• That the Agency fights to secure the £1500 non-consolidated payment promised on the 2nd June 2023. Even though they have not sought any recommendation within their own pay submission.

That position has not and will not change. It will continue to feature within written and face-to-face communications with both the Agency and you our members - many of whom are currently withdrawing their goodwill in response to another unsatisfactory pay process.

This unambiguous position has also been re-iterated through face to face executive level engagement with your employer in the past two weeks, and formal written communication following the latest oral evidence session with the NCARRB.

At this time, there are no scheduled pay meetings with the Agency until the 21st December 2023, whilst we eagerly await an update from the NCARRB who have now heard all the available evidence. The forthcoming Parliamentary Christmas recess will of course be unhelpful in securing a quick time response from HM Government - which will be required to ensure your pay award is made in January.

Over the past 6 weeks the NCOA held 25 workplace meetings, both in person and via Teams, securing an audience of well over 1000 members keen to hear from and engage with, the Trade Union of the NCA.

Through these meetings, a number of questions were raised, and it is our intention to share with your workplace reps an FAQ’s document by the end of the week which they can cascade through each of the business areas and workplaces. If you do not know who your local rep is, please check the NCOA pages on the intranet - alternatively, please contact consistent message though remains the same,

  • ‘Do you care that your pay award is likely to be 5 months late - again?’
  • ‘Do you care that the non-consolidated £1500 payment has not been paid?'                                                                                                             

If you do, then you need to show the Government and your employer that you care - by withdrawing your goodwill. Given the restrictions applicable to some NCA staff this the only effective and lawful tool at your disposal. By saying nothing and not objecting to this poor treatment, the results are all too predictable.

To be clear, we expect that everyone must still fulfil any contractual obligations - but nothing more than that at this time,

  • As an employee of the NCA you may occasionally be required to work additional hours - however, you must be appropriately compensated for any additional hours - normally through enhanced overtime payments. The choice for the type of compensation (TOIL/Overtime) rests with you.

If you want to work overtime - go for it. But I would urge you not to work additional hours for free or for anything other than the enhanced compensation which suits you. 

Also, if you are being asked if you wish to volunteer to work your rest day or extra hours - ask yourself whether you want to (or more importantly need to). Because being asked to volunteer, is fundamentally different to being told to do something. Don’t feel pressured to deliver in these circumstances - the choice is yours.

  • Being ‘On-call’ is a choice (yours) unless you are employed on a post Sept 2019 contract which states you must deliver it as part of your job.

Even so, being ‘On-call’, attracts a payment. ‘Stand-by’ and availability lists do not provide any kind of benefit to you, so we recommend that you stand firm.

With a consistent message from both the NCOA and you our members, we are confident it is the only way that the Government will show you the respect and rewards you deserve sitting at the pinnacle of UK law enforcement, leading on the threat of serious and organised crime.


Simon Boon NCOA General Secretary