Police Performance Procedures

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Quick Facts

1st February 2024

  • The procedures for dealing with the poor performance of police officers are set out in the Police (Performance) Regulations 2008 modified by the Police (Performance) Regulations 2012 to reflect changes made to policing governance made by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012. Employees’ Duties

  • While the aim of the procedures is to support and encourage improvement, also providing for dismissal where sufficient improvement is not achieved. Management Action

  • The Home Office has produced detailed guidance for managers on when and how to use the procedures (Unsatisfactory Performance and Attendance Procedures or UPPs). Misconduct or UPP?

  • Poor performance of police staff (in common with most other employees) is dealt with in accordance with the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Acas Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance procedures. Addressing Shortfalls in Performance

  • The Home Office publication “Police Officer Misconduct, Unsatisfactory Performance and Attendance Management Procedures 2018” is the core guidance framework for managers dealing with performance, conduct and attendance management matters. Home Office Guidance

Summary

Police Regulations that set out the unsatisfactory performance procedures (UPPs) for police officers are explained as well as the handling of complaints and conduct matters, and detailed guidance provided on when and how to use them.

This topic explains the procedures for dealing with police officer complaints, misconduct, poor performance and unsatisfactory attendance of police officers and police staff.

In August 2023, the Home Office announced a number of significant changes to police officer dismissal processes and procedures following a four-month review.

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Case Reports

Borg-Neal v Lloyds Banking Group

When dealing with an employee about their use of an offensive word or phrase, the context within which it was said is a key factor in determining if dismissal is a reasonable response.

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Hewston v Ofsted

In gross misconduct cases, employers should be able to show that an employee was aware that their conduct could result in dismissal, such as by forewarning them in a written policy, training or otherwise.

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Crew and Mason v Three Milestone Education Ltd

The duty to make reasonable adjustments applies to the right to be accompanied at a formal hearing, particularly in cases where an employee has been suspended and prohibited from contacting their colleagues.

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Charalambous v National Bank of Greece

It is not always necessary for the disciplinary decision-maker to personally hold the disciplinary hearing, although it would be an imperfection in the process. Such imperfections, however, can be resolved via a properly considered appeal.

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Shoaib-Brown v IQVIA - Right to be accompanied: chosen companion

The right to be accompanied at a formal hearing is an unfettered right, within the parameters of the applicable law, which applies regardless of the companions conduct. However, the companions conduct can lead to a reduction in compensation for suffering loss and detriment.

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Tinjani v House of Commons Commission - Unfair dismissal: Disproportionate response

The EAT considered if dismissal for lateness was reasonable, when that lateness included instances of 2-3 minutes. Rejecting the argument that this was disproportionate, it was held that employers do not have to show damage as a result of the misconduct in order for dismissal to be reasonable.

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Police Regulations that set out the unsatisfactory performance procedures (UPPs) for police officers are explained as well as the handling of complaints and conduct matters, and detailed guidance provided on when and how to use them.

This topic explains the procedures for dealing with police officer complaints, misconduct, poor performance and unsatisfactory attendance of police officers and police staff.

In August 2023, the Home Office announced a number of significant changes to police officer dismissal processes and procedures following a four-month review.

Under new rules to be implemented soon a finding of gross misconduct will automatically result in a police officer’s dismissal, unless exceptional circumstances apply.

Chief constables will resume chairing misconduct panels and will be handed greater powers to decide whether officers should be dismissed and will be given a right to challenge decisions.

Legally qualified chairs (LQCs) have been removed from their role and will instead be legally qualified persons (LQPs) with a function to provide independent advice.

The outcome will be decided by a majority panel decision and hearings will continue to be held in public to maintain transparency.

The law will also be changed to strengthen vetting procedures and the College of Policing announced in July 2023 changes to their Code of Practice for police vetting practices which include the following.

  • Vetting will be repeated if there is a material change in a person’s circumstances, including misconduct where an individual is not dismissed.

  • If a person cannot pass vetting checks or maintain clearance it is recommended that they be dismissed from policing.

  • Negative information or changes in circumstances that may impact on a person’s vetting clearance must be assessed to mitigate risk.

  • Vetting clearance will be rejected as a result of cautions and convictions — particularly if these relate to dishonesty, violence or targeting a vulnerable person because of protected characteristics — unless the person being vetted can prove otherwise.

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