Friday, 30 August 2013

Equal pay for equal work? Not if you're a copper

I've blogged before about the anger of white male police officers who are passed over for promotion because of their colour and gender. Soon they'll have even more to squeal about. (Thanks to Julia M for the link.)

"Fitness tests designed to ensure that police officers can move fast enough to catch criminals have been quietly watered down for fear of legal action and compensation claims. All employees...were intended to do annual running exercises as part of stringent plans to reform policing culture. Anyone who failed the test three times could have had their pay docked under proposals made last year by leading lawyer Tom Winsor...."

Winsor's suggestion for police reform sounds fair enough, but when was the last time you saw a female copper tackling a violent criminal? After all, we're not talking about speed trials here, but about measuring the overall fitness and strength of police officers. This would "unlawfully discriminate" against women, as the Police Advisory Board puts it, and possibly trigger compensation claims from test failures who sustained injuries on returning to front-line duties. So the Board has worked out a compromise.

The fitness tests will go ahead, but those who don't make the grade will be moved into cushy back office jobs, far from any risk of injury. On equal pay with front-line officers who are at risk of injury.

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