Fire and Rescue Service Pay Policy Statement

Pay Policy Statement 2020/21

1 Introduction

In accordance with sections 38 to 43 of the Localism Act this document represents North Yorkshire Police Fire & Crime Commissioner Fire and Rescue Authority’s Pay Policy Statement for 2019/2020 (to be referred as the Authority from hereafter). It sets out the Authority’s policies in relation to the remuneration of its staff including the following:

  • Remuneration of its Chief Officers,
  • Remuneration of its lowest paid employees,
  • The relationship between the remuneration of its Chief Officers and the remuneration of those employees who are not Chief Officers.

1.2 The Pay Policy Statement is subject to annual review and must be approved by the Authority for each financial year.

1.3 The Pay Policy Statement will be published on the Authority’s website as soon as reasonably practicable after approval or amendment.

2 Pay Structures

2.1 The pay structure for employees conditioned to the scheme of conditions of service for Local Authorities’ Fire and Rescue Services is established through national negotiating committees of the National Joint Council (NJC). Rates of pay are based on defined stages of development leading to demonstration of competence in the employee’s role. The lower pay point, following training, is paid whilst in the development phase of the role. Once all the role requirements have been assessed as having been achieved, competence is deemed to have been demonstrated and the ‘competent’ pay rate is applied.

2.2 The pay structure for employees conditioned to the scheme of conditions of service for Local Government Services is established locally following the application of the NJC Job Evaluation Scheme which informs the locally determined Pay and Grading Structure.  This arrangement allows for incremental progression in pay for the wider workforce, based on national spinal column points and linked to service in post. This approach towards pay for the wider workforce, and the use of established job evaluation schemes, ensures a planned approach towards pay policy that is accountable, transparent and fair.

2.3 All pay awards applied to the salary scales are as agreed through the NJC and notified to Authorities. Employees conditioned to the scheme of conditions of service for local government services who are paid above the maximum of the pay spine but graded below Deputy Chief Officer are within the scope of the NJC. The pay levels for such posts are determined locally as outlined in paragraph 2.2, but once fixed are increased in line with agreements reached by the NJC.

2.4 The Government’s National Living Wage sets a minimum wage for all workers aged 25 and over. This equates to an annual salary of £15,839. The Authority’s lowest paid employees are paid at Grade 2, which is a salary of £18,065 and is therefore above this level.   The introduction of a new pay spine on 1 April 2019 was brought in to meet the challenge to pay arrangements in the sector resulting from the introduction of the National Living Wage in 2016.  

3 Definitions

3.1       Senior Officers in North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service are defined as being the:

  • Chief Fire Officer
  • Head of Service Delivery/Deputy Chief Fire Officer
  • Head of Assurance
  • Head of Operational Resilience

3.2 Lowest Paid Employees:

Firefighter (trainee) is the lowest paid operational employee, however the maximum period of time this pay rate is applicable is normally 12 weeks, that being the expected duration of a wholetime recruit course, after which the level of pay is Firefighter (development).

Grade 2, spinal column point 3 (from 1st April 2019), is the lowest paid non-operational employee  This is the starting level on appointment at grade 2, rising to spinal column point 5 in incremental stages on the 1st April or 6 months after appointment, if the appointment is within 6 months of the 1st April.

4 Remuneration of and Payments to Chief Officers

4.1 Remuneration

a – Chief Fire Officer & Deputy Chief Fire Officer

The terms and conditions of service of Brigade Managers e.g. the Chief Fire Officer and Deputy Chief Fire Officer are in accordance with the NJC for Brigade Managers of the Fire and Rescue Services Scheme of Conditions of Service (“the Gold Book”) as varied locally under the ‘twin track approach’.  Under the twin track approach, the NJC publishes, annually, recommended minimum levels of salary applicable to Chief Fire Officers. The NJC reviews the level of pay increase, considering affordability and the rate of inflation. This increase is communicated to fire authorities by circular and fire authorities are able to determine locally all other decisions about the level of pay and remuneration.

The Chief Fire Officer post has an annual salary which falls within a range of six incremental points between £118,973 and £131,213, as agreed by the Authority, and which is inclusive of an operational allowance.  The Deputy Chief Fire Officer also has an annual salary which falls within a range of six incremental points.  The current range being £96,941 to £106,733, inclusive of an operational allowance.  Both postholders are full time employees on a permanent employment contract.

Pay for both posts reflects a base salary, which is role specific, together with an operational allowance to reflect the requirement to work the continuous duty system.  The Deputy Chief Fire Officer’s basic salary is set as 80% of the Chief Fire Officer’s base salary and the operational allowance is set as 10% of the Deputy Chief Fire Officer’s basic pay.  The levels of pay are established with consideration of comparative information and any substantial local factors.

b – Heads of Service (Area Manager)

The pay structure for an Area Manager is based on the  NJC determined flexible duty Area Manager salary rates (development and competent) together with the equivalent operational allowance to that of the Chief Fire Officer and Deputy Chief Fire Officer for operating under the continuous duty system.  The current annual salary range is £73,976.60 to £80,291.  One postholder is a full time employee on a permanent employment contract.  One post is currently vacant and is being filled via temporary promotion arrangements.

c – Statutory Management Functions

The Authority’s Treasurer and Monitoring Officer are not direct employees of the Authority.  The individuals who fulfil these roles are employed by Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cleveland respectively and are subject to their own Pay Policy Statement.

4.2 Increases and Additions to Remuneration

The Chief Fire Officer has an annual review in March with the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner which follows the Service’s Personal Development & Performance Review (PDPR) process and is used to determine level of progression up the pay scale.  This could range from no movement to a shift at an accelerated rate (maximum 2 points) based on assessment of expected progress against objectives and outcomes.

The same process applies to the Deputy Chief Fire Officer who has a joint PDPR with the Chief Fire Officer and the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner to assess progress against their individual objectives and outcomes.

Area Managers are placed in development phase upon appointment and receive the associated development rate of pay.  Once all their role requirements have been assessed as having been achieved, competence is deemed to have been demonstrated and the Area Manager competent pay rate is applied.

4.3 Bonuses

There is no bonus scheme in operation for any role across the Service.  This ensures that there is the appropriate accountability and transparency of salaries and, in particular, the salaries of senior staff.

4.4 Performance Related Pay

It is expected that Chief Officers will perform to the highest level and therefore performance related pay will not form part of current remuneration arrangements. This position will be reviewed if legislation and/or guidance relating to senior posts is changed.

4.5 Performance Review

As stated in paragraph 4.2, Brigade Managers are expected to deliver specified objectives, and each has an annual performance review with the CFO.  The CFO’s performance is monitored and reviewed by the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner.

The DCFO’s performance is reviewed jointly by the CFO and the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner.

4.6 Other Payments

In addition to annual pay, the operational Brigade and Area Managers are provided with a Service vehicle for the purposes of providing continuous duty and for which they can make an election for private use.

4.7 Future Position

In cases of new Chief Officer’ appointments, the position and remuneration will be reviewed by the Fire Authority prior to recruitment.  The starting position on the pay scale for the selected appointment would reflect the level of experience upon appointment to the role.

5 Payment to Chief Officers Upon Termination of their Employment

5.1 Chief Officers who cease to hold office or be employed by the Authority will receive payments calculated using the same principles as any other member of staff, based on entitlement within their contracts of employment; their general terms and conditions and existing policies.

5.2 In the case of termination of employment by way of early retirement, redundancy (voluntary or otherwise) or on the grounds of efficiency of the service, the Brigade’s Early Retirement and Redundancy Policy sets out provisions which apply to all staff regardless of their level of seniority.

5.3 The Authority’s Early Retirement and Discretions policies also set out the applicable provisions in respect of awarding additional pension entitlement by way of augmentation or otherwise.

6 Retirement, Re-Engagement and Abatement

6.1 In accordance with the requirements of the 2018 Fire and Rescue Framework for England the Authority has a policy of not re-appointing principal officers (Brigade Managers) after retirement to their previous, or a similar, post except for in exceptional circumstances when such a decision is necessary in the interests of public safety.

6.2 In accordance with the Regulations of the relevant Pension Schemes, if an employee retires and then returns to work and their earnings on re-employment (including pension) exceed their earnings before they retired, the Fire Authority will reduce or stop (“abate”) the employees’ pension to the point where the aggregate of the pension in payment and the salary received on re-employment does not exceed the level of earnings directly prior to their retirement.

7 Remuneration of Lowest Paid Employees

7.1 The lowest paid operational employee at the statement date is Firefighter (Development) lowest paid non-operational employee is Grade 2.

7.2 The remuneration of these employees is:

  • Fire-fighter (Development) £24,339
  • Non-operational employees (Grade 2, Spinal Column point 3) £18,933

8 Relationship between Remuneration of Chief Officer and Non Chief Officer Remuneration

8.1 The ratio between the highest paid salary and the median average salary of the whole of the Authority’s workforce is known as the pay multiple.

The median average salary of a North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service employee includes all non-operational posts, operational posts and Control but excludes retained firefighters whose earnings vary considerably based on work activity.  The current pay multiple is 4.1.

8.2 The following table shows the relationship between the Brigade Managers and the lowest paid employees expressed as a ratio.

OPERATIONAL RATIOS  Lowest pay point

(Development FF)

Chief Fire Officer to Firefighter 5.2: 1
Deputy Chief Fire Officer to Firefighter 4.1: 1
 NON-OPERATIONAL RATIOS  Lowest pay point
Chief Fire Officer to Grade 2 6.7: 1
Deputy Chief Fire Officer to Grade 2 5.2: 1

9 Publication and Access to Information relating to Remuneration of Chief Officers

9.1 Key documents in relation to pay are this Pay Policy Statement and the Authority’s Annual Statement of Accounts.  Both of these documents and other information will be published on the Authority’s website in line with the Code of Recommended Practice for Local Authorities on Data Transparency.

10 Equal Pay

10.1 Part-time workers receive the same pay and remuneration as full-time workers undertaking the same job role on a pro-rata basis.

10.2 This Authority is committed to:

  • seeking to ensure that all staff are valued and receive proper recognition for their work and contribution to the Service.
  • Working within available resources and financial constraints.
  • Recognising the importance of pay in recruiting, retaining, motivating and rewarding staff.
  • Ensuring the application of open, objective, fair and consistent criteria in all decisions on staff pay.
  • Ensuring that pay and staffing decisions are in line with the Authority’s duties and legal obligations under all relevant employment legislation including the Equality Act 2010.