PSC Joint Circular 109 – Covid-19 deaths in the course of employment

The Police Staff Council (PSC) provides the following clarity and reassurance on how police forces should approach a death as a result of Covid-19 contracted in the course of employment by a police staff employee.


LGA, 18 Smith Square
London, SW1P 3HZ
Employers’ Side Secretary, Sarah Ward
e-mail: police-staff@local.gov.uk 

Unison Centre,130 Euston Road
London, NW1 2AY
Trade Union Side Secretary, Ben Priestley
e-mail: b.priestley@unison.co.uk


To: Police and Crime Commissioner (copy Chief Exec &Treasurer)
      Chief Constables (copy Force Personnel/HR Manager/Payroll Manager)

cc: PSC Members
      Scotland and MPS (for information only)


12 July 2021

PSC joint circular 109 – COVID-19 deaths in the course of employment

Dear colleague

1. The Police Staff Council (PSC) provides the following clarity and reassurance on how police forces should approach a death as a result of Covid-19 contracted in the course of employment by a police staff employee. 

2. The PSC does not want the dependents of police staff who have died of Covid-19 to experience an unreasonable burden of proving causation at a time of significant loss nor do we want police staff to fear this will be the case. 

3. The terms of this circular will apply where the death of a police staff employee has been caused by Covid-19 and in the 14 days prior to showing symptoms of the disease (‘the incubation period’), he or she was employed on duties where it could be reasonably concluded that they contracted the virus from a member of the public, or from a colleague similarly required to be at work. 

4. Where applicable payment by way of a death gratuity can be made under:

  • PSC Handbook Section 8 - Payments in the event of death or permanent disablement arising from assault, temporarily extended to apply to death due to COVID-19 as described below in paragraphs 6-7.

This will ill be the greater of five times gross salary or £60,000 less any payment due under the:

  • Local Government (Discretionary Payments) (Injury Allowances) Regulations 2011
  •  Any Death Grant due under the Local Government Pension Scheme.

5. In the circumstances of the death of a member of police staff from Covid–19 from 23 March 2020 when ‘lockdown’ measures commenced. The decision to make a payment will rest with the employing force and will be subject to the certification by an Independent Registered Medical Practitioner (IRMP). An IRMP is as defined within the Local Government Pension Scheme and associated guidance.

6. The process of payment will be as follows:

  • The employing force will instigate the process to activate payment including referral to the IRMP
  • Where death has occurred on or after 23 March 2020 and before the end of this scheme. 

The terms of this circular will be reviewed on a monthly basis from the date of issue, to take account of the developing circumstances relating to the COVID-19 recovery plans of forces in England and Wales.

Yours sincerely

Ben Priestley                                   
Trade Union Side Secretary  

David Algie
Employers’ Side Secretariat