Please bring the contents of this Circular to the attention of all POA members.

Change to mileage rate from May 1st

The NEC have been in prolonged discussions with HMPPS over their proposed new travel and subsistence policy. We are pleased to confirm that the NEC have been successful in forcing HMPPS to increase mileage rates. Members should take note of the following:

Staff undertaking necessary business travel, using their private vehicle, may claim the ‘Standard Rate’ of mileage at 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles in the financial year (reducing to 25p per mile thereafter); therefore, removing the current Public Transport Rate (26p) from the Travel and Subsistence policies (PSI 2012-15 and PI 2015-17).

This entitlement comes into effect for any necessary official business travel undertaken, from 1st May 2022. The Public Transport Rate must not be used from this point.

No retrospective claims for official business travel undertaken before this date will be allowed, in any circumstances.

New Build Prisons

In addition to applying for outline planning permission for new prisons at two new sites, next to HMP Gartree and HMPs Garth and Wymott, HMPPS had also begun consulting on two potential new prisons at MOD Wethersfield in Essex. The proposed new prison next to HMP Garth and HMP Wymott was refused planning permission in December 2021, although it had been recommended for approval by the planning officer. Having reflected on the reasons for the refusal and seeking advice, HMPPS submitted an appeal against the refusal of planning on 25 March. The proposed new prisons next to HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill, and next to HMP Gartree were refused planning permission on 24th March and 5th April respectively. HMPPS are now taking the time to consider the reasons and again to seek advice on what next steps will be.  Following the public consultation, there has not been a decision made on whether to submit a planning application for new prisons at MOD Wethersfield in Essex.

Of the four new prisons to be built under this programme, one will be operated by HMPPS. This, added to the expansion of the existing public sector estate, will mean that over half of all the additional capacity planned in the coming years will be run by the public sector.


The Pay Review Body have confirmed that they have concluded oral evidence with all parties, and the Review Body is working towards submitting the 2022 England and Wales report to the Government in June this year. They hope that should provide sufficient time for the Government to consider the recommendations and publish their report prior to the summer Parliamentary recess in July.

PAVA Roll out

The POA insist that PAVA should be rolled out to the entire prison estate. Over recent months staff in the Youth Custody Estate have been subject to multiple incidents of concerted indiscipline and serious assaults against them. I have written to the Secretary of State for Justice Dominic Raab MP asking him to support the roll out of PAVA in the Youth Custody Estate. I await a reply.

Pilot Schemes

The NEC are aware that HMPPS are ‘piloting’ an ever-increasing number of initiatives in a number of prisons. These ‘pilots’ in some instances, include staff volunteering for tasks that are not profiled, give additional responsibility and additional skills for no additional pay, which in turn makes it increasingly difficult for the National Executive to persuade both the employer and the pay review body to give an allowance or fund any additional skills via an increase in salary.

Secure Hospitals

There are still sporadic outbreaks of Covid within our secure Hospitals. In Scotland outbreaks are having no significant impact on staff absences, whilst in England several outbreaks continue to affect staffing levels.

Conference facility time

HMPPS have confirmed that delegates from the Public Sector Prison Service have been granted 5 days facility time to attend annual conference. We have asked NHS trusts and private sector employers to approve facility time for their respective attendees.

HMPPS Style Guide for Prison Communications

Please note the following that has been issued to Governors on behalf of the Secretary of State for Justice. Please ensure your senior management teams adhere to this directive.



Terms to use

Terms to not use

People in prison

Prisoners, people in prison, offenders

Resident, service-user, client

People leaving prison

Prison leavers, people leaving prison, people resettling in the community, ex-offenders 

Service-user, client







  1. This guidance does not apply to Youth Custody Service due to the distinctions between the Youth and Adult Justice Systems.

HMPPS are preparing to exit the National Framework and close Covid Gold, which means SOPs and EDMs will no longer apply. Committees should ensure they have an agreed RMP in place. If you do not, please contact your area NEC representative for advice. A return to established policies does not mean a return to pre covid regimes and full wing unlocks including pointless and dangerous association periods with unmanageable numbers of prisoners to supervise. Please ensure you agree any proposals to expand regimes or introduce any activities. We must grasp this opportunity to make our prisons safe for all and should resist any attempts to reintroduce pre covid regimes that promoted criminality, violence against staff and a lack of control and authority due to the insufficient staffing levels when prisoners are unlocked.

If local committees need advice and assistance, please do not hesitate to contact your area NEC rep.

All the best. 

Yours Sincerely


Mark Fairhurst
National Chair

Representing over 30,000 Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, the POA is the largest UK Union in this sector, able to trace its roots back more than 100 years.