POLICE Scotland is examining its flexible working policies after the force’s federation warned of an “exodus” of women officers from the ranks.
Jackie Muller, National Equality Secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, (pictured) said the force’s "rigid" policies for securing flexible and part-time working was endangering the retention of female officers.
Nicky Page Head of People Management for Police Scotland confirmed that talks were being held with the Federation to discuss flexible working and that a recent meeting about this was “very constructive”.
She said: "Our officers play a vital part in helping keep people safe in Scotland. We do our very best to manage the needs of our all people with the demands of Scotland-wide policing. We work hard with our officers to achieve this but on occasions we will not always be able to accommodate everyone's requests. We cannot discuss individual cases.”
The talks came after the federation called for changes to working practices at the force.
Jackie said: “I'm pretty confident that officers are going to see a real improvement in process for flexible working. It will be a fairer procedure more locally managed but realistic and balancing of the needs of the individual with the force.
"Of course the police service wants as many officers on as possible but how many do they need at a particular time? It's making sure that they address the operational demand. The flip side of that is that individuals are also going to have to accept that there is going to have to be a balance between what they want and what they really need.”
Jackie added: "Obviously we will need to monitor how this new procedure works in practice – I'm hoping that better arrangements in flexible working will lead to better retention of women."