Derbyshire Police Federation

Struggling with childcare during teacher strikes?

6 February 2023

Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton is reminding members of their right to ‘Time Off for Dependants’ (TOfD), a benefit that entitles officers to take paid leave in certain situations amid the ongoing industrial strikes.

TOfD could prove to be essential over the coming months, especially for members who are parents or carers and are struggling to find alternative childcare arrangements during the regional and national teacher strikes. 

And, while the majority of officers will be able to make other arrangements, members should remember that TOfD is there as an alternative to annual leave.

“It’s no secret that the continuous industrial strike action is having a huge impact on many of our members, which is why I would like to remind everyone of their rights, including TOfD,” said Tony.

“Struggling to find childcare or worrying about the financial impact of taking unpaid time off can be incredibly stressful, especially at the moment, when we’re feeling the pinch more than ever. 

“There has been lots of publicity and notice around the potential strikes, and the Force has quite rightly encouraged officers and staff to plan and make alternative arrangements in advance wherever possible.  Most will be able to put arrangements in place to get through the strikes but if, and when, officers are unable to make those alternative arrangements then Police Regulations provides for reasonable time off when necessary.

“TOfD entitles officers to paid leave if they need it, which can really help to relieve the worries and concerns some of our members might be feeling as they prepare for further teacher strike dates.

“Of course, if members can find alternative childcare arrangements during the teacher strikes, then there is no need for them to use TOfD. And, if they have any concerns surrounding childcare arrangements, we would always advise them to speak to their line manager first.

“If necessary and as always, members should know the Federation is here for them if they feel they require additional support or advice.”

Here is a basic outline of how TOfD could help you:

  • TOfD was put in place to ensure officers could deal with unexpected situations that affect those who depend on them
  • TOfD cover a variety of circumstances, including strike days by public services - even if these are known about and understood well in advance
  • TOfD is classed as duty and therefore entitles officers to paid leave
  • There is no limit as to how many days an officer can use TOfD, as long as the leave is necessary
  • Please note, TOfD is not the same as ‘carers’ leave’ or ‘emergency leave’.

Future strike days that will affect the East Midlands so far announced are:

  • Wednesday 1 March (East Midlands)
  • Wednesday 15 March (national)
  • Thursday 16 March (national).

For more information on TOfD members should read this document.




June 2024