The PCC has approved an Acting Chief Constable to serve Cleveland Police on the retirement of Chief Constable Cheer.
Deputy Chief Constable Iain Spittal assumed the role of Acting Chief Constable within the meaning of s41 Police Reform & Social Responsibility Act 2011 .
These arrangements were due to start on 7 January 2016 and for as long as the vacancy exists.
However, CC Cheer’s leave arrangements mean that there is an additional period of legal absence. This starts from 26 December 2015.
As a result of the Acting arrangements, the PCC also needs to approve payment arrangements for Mr Spittal during this period.
In the current circumstances, Mr Spittal will be acting as Chief Constable with effect from the 26 December 2015 until the vacancy is filled.
The conventional rank designation adopted in Force is ‘Temporary Chief Constable. However, there is no significance in one title or the other in terms of the application of the pay rule to a chief officer.
Acting up and the law
Regulation 27 of the Police Regulations 2003 empowers the Home Secretary to make Determinations on Temporary Salary. The relevant part of this determination is Annex I which states:
After 28 consecutive days of being required to perform duties normally performed by a member of the force of a higher rank, an officer of a substantive rank of or above assistant chief constable will be paid at a rate equivalent to 90% of the higher rank’s basic pay or receive an honorarium of an amount determined by the police authority (now PCC).
The Chief Constable vacancy will not be filled prior to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s election in May 2016. Therefore, the post will be vacant for more than 28 days.
In terms of payment, it is the individual officers’ choice to decide whether to be paid by honorarium at a rate equivalent to 90% of the higher rank’s basic pay.
Mr Spittal decided to take the payment as an honorarium.
The ‘Basic’ pay for the role of the Chief Constable of Cleveland Police is £137,133 . This compares to the salary for the Deputy Chief Constable of £113,109.
The honorarium can accordingly be for a value of up to £24,024 per annum. This would be paid pro-rata until the vacancy is filled.
Given the above, the honorarium would start 28 days after the period of acting up began.
In this case, the honorarium starts on 23 January. It will continues until the vacancy is filled after the PCC elections in May 2016.