The Police Negotiating Board (PNB) fulfils the legal requirement, under section 61 of the Police Act 1996, for a body comprising appropriate representation to consider ‘questions relating to hours of duty, leave, pay and allowances, pensions or the issue, use and return of police clothing, personal equipment and accoutrements. The PNB will seek to reach agreement on these matters and those agreements then become recommendations to be passed to the Scottish Ministers. Ministers will then decide whether to accept the recommendation (agreement) and enact it in law.
In accordance with the PNB constitution, the Independent Chair is required to prepare an annual report for Ministers on the business of the PNB covering the 12 months of the reporting period.
The PNB remains an advisory non-departmental public body under the Police Act 1996, but only exists for the negotiation of police officer terms and conditions in Scotland. Revisions to the PNB constitution to reflect this change were approved by the Home Secretary in July 2014. The Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016, which contains the provisions to establish the Police Negotiating Board Scotland (PNBS), completed its parliamentary passage on 8 December 2015 and became an Act of Parliament on 13 January 2016. The PNB will continue to exist in Westminster legislation until provisions contained in the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 are commenced.
Under the existing Scotland only PNB arrangement, the parties to negotiation are the Official Side, comprising representatives of the Scottish Ministers, the Scottish Police Authority, the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland and the Staff Side comprising representatives of the Scottish Police Federation, the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents and the Scottish Chief Police Officers Staff Association.
An Independent Chair is appointed by the Prime Minister and is supported by an Independent Secretariat based in the Scottish Government Safer Communities Directorate.
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