Police Negotiating Board for Scotland: constitution

The Police Negotiating Board for Scotland (PNBS) is a public body that negotiates the pay, terms and conditions of Police Officers in Scotland, through collective bargaining. The constitution sets out how the PNBS will reach agreements, or if failing to agree, how conciliation and/or arbitration is carried out.

Part Two – Arbitration Process

17. Arbitration will be provided by Acas and conducted in accordance with the following provisions.

18. The parties to the arbitration will be the Official Side and the Staff Side.

19. The default arbitration rules referred to in section 9 and schedule 1 of the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 will not apply to the arbitration, as agreed by the Board. The mandatory arbitration rules referred to in section 8 and schedule 1 of that Act have been disapplied by regulations made by the Scottish Ministers under paragraph 7(2) of schedule 2A of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012.

20. A standing panel ("the panel") of three arbitrators will be appointed in accordance with Part Three of this document.

21. Disputes will generally be dealt with by the panel. however, a sole arbitrator or a reserve arbitrator may deal with a dispute in the circumstances referred to in Part Three of this document.

22. The Terms of Reference for the arbitration will be provided by the Board or, as the case may be, by the Chairperson of the Board, in accordance with the constitution and taking account of the draft Terms of Reference agreed by the parties at conciliation.

23. The Terms of Reference will incorporate the procedures and conditions set out in Parts Two and Three of this document.

24. The hearing date will be agreed with the parties and will normally take place no later than 8 calendar weeks from the date of the agreed Terms of Reference.

25. The hearing will be held in the Acas offices in Glasgow, or at another agreed location in Scotland.

26. No later than seven calendar days prior to the hearing, the parties will each supply the arbitrator / panel with a copy of a written Statement of Case (SoC) and will exchange between themselves at least two copies of their respective written SoC. The SoC must address the question agreed for arbitration and not introduce new issues.

27. In their SoC the parties may present whatever information and arguments they see fit to the arbitrator / panel.

28. The SoC will contain all submissions upon which the party relies in support of or in opposition to the claim and will include the following:

  • The ranks involved and the number of officers in each rank.
  • The nature of the claim.
  • The existing situation.
  • The grounds in support of or opposition to the claim.
  • Where reference is made to any document or documents, copies or extracts thereof will be provided.
  • The names and status of the representative or representatives who will appear before the arbitrator / arbitration panel.

29. Although the parties will be free to elaborate and explain their case to the arbitrator / panel at the hearing, oral submissions will be with reference to the written SoC only.

30. The parties may represent themselves at the hearing or may appoint a spokesperson.

31. If one of the parties requests that the case should be adjourned from the date fixed to a later date, the following will apply:

  • Consent to an adjournment must be sought and agreed by the other party.
  • If the consent is forthcoming, then notice of such agreed adjournment shall be sent to the arbitrator / panel as soon as possible and they will fix a new hearing date.
  • If one party refuses consent to the request for an adjournment, the party seeking the adjournment may make formal application to the arbitrator / panel whose decision will be final.

32. The arbitrator / panel must conduct the arbitration impartially, fairly, without unnecessary delay, without incurring unnecessary expense and with due regard to the requirements of confidentiality.

33. The arbitrator / panel will exercise their judgement as to the weight to be given to the information and arguments before them.

34. The arbitrator / panel may give such directions to the parties as they consider appropriate for the purposes of conducting the arbitration. A party must comply with a direction by such time as the arbitrator / panel specifies.

35. In the event of either party failing without good reason to submit its SoC timeously, provide the required information in its SoC, attend a hearing or comply with a direction of the arbitrator / panel, the arbitrator / panel may proceed to make its award on the basis of the information and arguments before it.

36. The arbitrator / panel's deliberations may be undertaken in private and need not be disclosed to the parties. A panel's decision may be made unanimously or by majority. Where an arbitrator fails to participate in any of a panel's deliberations that fact must be disclosed to the parties.

37. After the arbitration hearing, the arbitrator / panel will produce a written report summarising the main points made by each party, the details of the award and the reasons for their decision.

38. The arbitration report will be provided to the parties within 14 days of the conclusion of the arbitration hearing and will be sent to the parties simultaneously.

39. The arbitration award must be in accordance with the parameters of the agreed question for arbitration.

40. Any decision of the arbitrator / panel will be treated as though it were an agreement of the parties.

41. Acas will provide Secretariat / clerking support to the standing panel.


Email: police_division_hub_mailbox@gov.scot

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