Editor's message: One of the many challenges that the police service presents to HR is around recruitment and ensuring that the service reflects the gender and racial composition of the communities that it serves. It is well documented that the number of police officers from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background does not reflect the BAME population as a whole and the shortage of female police officers from a BAME background in particular has been highlighted in recent months.
While positive discrimination is often discussed as a method of boosting diversity police employers must be aware of the limits of positive action under the Equality Act 2010, which were highlighted by the tribunal decision of Furlong v Chief Constable of Cheshire Police.
Despite the challenges, the police sector may be able to benefit from certain initiatives to boost recruitment, for example a government pilot to bring officers and staff who left because of caring responsibilities back into investigative roles, the Metropolitan Police scheme to allow new police constable recruits to join the force on a part-time basis, and the Police Now programme for attracting high-achieving graduates.
Initiatives like these are likely to become even more relevant, with the Government's commitment, announced in October 2019, to recruit 20,000 new police officers over three years. It is already over 3,000 recruits into its target, according to figures released on 30 April 2020.
The Metropolitan Police service is one of the forces that has already called on retired police officers to return to duty to help in its coronavirus (COVID-19) response, with the first intake having already returned. Further police forces may well follow suite as the situation develops.
Clio Springer, senior employment law editor
Updated to include the details of four new pay awards across the sector.
With many people either working from home or furloughed for the past two months, there has been much discussion about the impact of lockdown on employees' mental health, but what about the effect on their physical health and what could this mean for the return to work?
We look at how the police service is bringing returners back into its workforce to help support policing needs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Government has said it is on track to meet its target of 6,000 additional police officers in England and Wales by March 2021, as online assessment allows forces to continue hiring.
The Metropolitan Police Service is calling on retired officers to return to duty and urging those nearing retirement to stay on.
Police forces in England and Wales have succeeded in attracting more women and people from Asian backgrounds but are failing to attract people from other ethnic groups, especially in police officer roles.
HR professionals in public authorities may think that the extension of IR35 reforms to the private sector in April 2020 will not affect them. However, public-sector bodies need to be aware of some proposed changes to the rules.
We look at how shift and night working operates in the police sector and some of the initiatives aimed at reducing the potential negative impact of such working patterns.
In Wisbey v Commissioner of the City of London Police and another, an employment tribunal held that a police force indirectly discriminated against a male police officer who was temporarily removed from rapid-response driving duties because he is colour blind.
The Government is consulting on proposed changes to the duty to publish a modern slavery and human trafficking statement. The proposals aim to improve the quality of reporting under the transparency in supply chains legislation, make it easier for people to compare organisations' reports and increase compliance with the duty.
HR and legal information, news and guidance relating to employers in the police service.
See Legislation for the up-to-date version of the police regulations including the: