National Update

National Bulletin - May 2021

Code of Ethics and Guidance

This week saw the launch of the Core Code of Ethics and Guidance for Fire and Rescue Services (England), developed in partnership with the NFCC, LGA, and the APCC.

Developed in consultation with the fire sector, the Core Code supports a consistent approach to ethics, including behaviours designed to help employees of the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) act in the best way towards each other and while serving the public. It will sit alongside the Code of Ethics Fire Standard developed by the Fire Standards Board.

The Code has been produced in response to one of the recommendations in the State of Fire Report 2019.

Everyone in every FRS in England is expected to follow the Core Code, including those working with or on behalf of FRSs. Governance will play an important role in championing the adoption of the Core Code and scrutinising delivery.

The FRSA cautiously welcomes the Code but is acutely aware that most FRSs have a set of Core Values that are not dissimilar to a Code of Ethics which hasn’t necessarily been a success either in terms of implementation or outcomes. Our view is that the required behaviours must be embedded throughout an organisation from top to bottom with the appropriate level of awareness training for all staff. 

They should not be open to wild interpretation and used as a stick to beat firefighters over the head with as and when it suits middle and senior management, as has been the case with local Core Values.

The Core Code of Ethics can be found here and a copy of the Guidance here.

O'Brien Pension Update

To provide members with the latest situation concerning our negotiations with the Government, we can confirm that negotiations are nearing a positive conclusion, having previously hit a stumbling block regarding the eligibility of members to undertake the second options exercise to join the Modified Pension Scheme.

From our past conversations with members and non-members we are aware that during the first options exercise, not all Fire Authorities provided the correct tax-relief on historical pension contributions.  If you believe that you fall into this category it is vital that you make the FRSA aware as early as possible to enable us to ascertain whether you are eligible for recourse in this specific matter. For a further discussion on this please contact [email protected] with your contact details.

Scottish Fire Minister

Following the Scottish elections earlier this month, the Scottish Government has confirmed that Ash Denham has kept her portfolio as the Minister for Community Safety which she has held since June 2018, covering Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

We look forward to continuing our dialogue with the Minister in the future.

Represent the FRSA in your service

We are always willing to hear from members who are interested in joining our network of local officials that represent members within their own fire and rescue service. The contribution these officials make can literally be life-changing for members and is a very rewarding role which attracts payment for trade union duties. Training is provided by the Association and a mentoring arrangement is available, although the key attribute is your experience as an operational firefighter!

If you would like to know more, please contact FRSA HQ via 01953 455005 or [email protected].

Our offer to you

A new information leaflet is available encapsulating the key benefits of being a member of the FRSA. The document is available via our website and we would recommend that this is shared with your colleagues on station.