The Police Negotiating Board (PNB) fulfilled 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 sought to reach agreement on those matters and the agreements then became recommendations to be passed to the Scottish Ministers. Ministers would decide whether to accept the recommendation (agreement) and enact it in law.
The PNB was an advisory non-departmental public body under the Police Act 1996, but only existed 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 contained the provisions to establish the Police Negotiating Board for Scotland (PNBS), completed its parliamentary passage on 8 December 2015 and became an Act of Parliament on 13 January 2016.
Commencement Orders (No. 7 and No. 8) allowing for the establishment of PNBS were laid before the Scottish Parliament on 4 May 2023, coming into force on 17 August 2023. PNBS replaced the PNB which was abolished at that time.
Under the PNB arrangement, the parties to negotiation were the Official Side, comprising representatives of the Scottish Ministers, the Scottish Police Authority and 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 was appointed by the Prime Minister and supported by an Independent Secretariat based in the Scottish Government Safer Communities Directorate.
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. This report marks the final annual report of the Police Negotiating Board.
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