Firefighters and fire control staff to receive on-call and maternity pay rises

firefighters pay risesFirefighters and fire control employees have received maternity pay improvements, as well as an increase to pay and the retainer paid while on-call.

The package has been negotiated at the National Joint Council between the Fire Brigades Union and fire employers for some months and would be binding on all UK fire and rescue services. It includes a 4% basic pay increase and continual professional development payments. This is above the current 3.2% rate of inflation and will take effect from July.

Employees will also be entitled to a minimum maternity pay entitlement of 26 weeks on full pay, followed by 13 weeks at statutory maternity pay. This is more than double the current baseline for maternity pay.

Meanwhile, changes to the retaining fee, which is paid to workers on-call, will take effect from January 2025. This includes a 50% increase in the retainer paid, from a maximum of 10% of basic pay to 15%.

The annual retainer for a firefighter worker providing full cover is defined as cover of at least 120 hours per week. Where an employee provides cover for less than 120 hours per week, they will receive 5% for up to and including 30 hours per week, 7.5% from 31 hours per week and up to and including 60 hours per week, 10% from 61 hours per week and up to and including 90 hours per week, and 12.5% from 91 hours per week and up to and including 119 hours.

Matt Wrack, general secretary at the Fire Brigades Union, said: “This is a step forward for firefighters and control staff, although it obviously does not resolve all issues. These concessions are the direct result of hard work and pressure from firefighters and the union.

“I am proud of the work we have done to fight for decent pay, and to raise the profile of maternity pay and of retained firefighters. Ultimately, employers know that firefighters are prepared to stand together and enter dispute. We will defend our right to strike tooth and nail against authoritarian attempts to curb it.”