Q 1. I have had to return from Annual Leave to attend court, what can I claim?
You will be entitled to the following:
Recalled for 1 day or 2 days an additional 2 days annual leave for each day recalled or 1 days annual leave & 1 days pay at double time, for each day.
Recalled for 3 days or more As above for the first two days then 1 ½ days annual leave or 1-day annual leave & half days pay at double time in lieu of each such day recalled thereafter.
Regulation 33 covers the above. Annex 0, Paragraph 5(a) of Police Regulations and Determinations 2003, which goes on to say under Paragraph 5(b);
This paragraph applies to a period of absence from duty of 3 or more days, where at least one of the days is a day of annual leave and the other days, if not days of annual leave, are rostered rest days, days taken in lieu of overtime, public holidays (or days taken off in lieu thereof) or monthly leave days, or any combination thereof.
Under Paragraph 5(c) the above compensation also not only applies to officers actually recalled from annual leave, but also to annual leave that has been pre-booked/scheduled.
Q2. I have had to remain at work at the end of my shift into a period of Annual Leave, what can I claim?
If you are required to remain at work from a normal duty day into the new force day (0700hrs) which is a pre-booked period of leave of at least 3 days or more and one of which is an Annual Leave day. And this has been authorised or you've been given a lawful order by an officer of at least the rank of Inspector or above. Then you are entitled to claim the following; 2 days leave back or 1 days leave & 1 days pay at double time. There is no requirement to work the first hour or disregard the first 30 minutes.
Q3. I had to remain at work at the end of my shift what can I claim?
If you work overtime after hours on your scheduled tour of duty, and you were not informed of the overtime prior to the commencement of this tour of duty, it is classed as unplanned overtime and you cannot claim overtime for the first 30 minutes worked.
For example, if your tour of duty is 1500 x 2300, you cannot claim overtime until 23.30. Any overtime you claim after that is at time and a third, for payment, or if you wish to claim time off, for the overtime, then for every completed 15 minutes, you are entitled to claim 1 unit and for every 3 units you work, you are given 1 bonus unit.
If you work unplanned overtime on 4 occasions during the same week then on the 5th and any other occasion in which you may have to work overtime you no longer lose the first half hour for the rest of that week.
If you were asked to work overtime prior to the commencement of your tour of duty this is planned overtime and you do not lose the first half an hour when calculating how much time you have worked over.
You may like to know why you lose the first half an hour. The reason is shown below.
In 1994 the first 30 minutes of casual overtime on the first four occasions was bought out for £270. Police officers basic, pensionable pay increased by £270 and that figure has increased with every pay rise since that date and is now worth £525. These half hours weren't just given up.
So, far from "working for The Queen" you are, and always have been, paid for these half hours whether you work them or not. As the compensation forms part of your pensionable pay, you will continue to be paid for these half hours (in your pension) long after you have ceased working as a police officer.
Q4. I had to remain at work at the end of my shift after nights going onto a rest day what can I claim?
If you are required to work over following a night shift and this is going into you rest day, you are entitled to claim up to 1 hour overtime, in blocks of 15 minutes, at time & a half. After that hour if you still have to remain on duty you will get a minimum of 4 hours at time & a half even if the period of overtime is less than 4 hours. You do not lose the 1st half an hour.
Q5. What can I claim for working on a rest day?
A member of a police force of the rank of constable or sergeant shall, if required to do duty on a day, which is a rostered rest day, be granted:
Where he/she receives less than 15 days notice of the requirement, payment or time off (officers choice) at the rate of time and a half. Please note when working out the day’s notice you do not count the day you were asked or the day you are to work. A member may also claim mileage to/from their home address to their place of work for working on a cancelled RD with less than 15 days notice.
Q6. What can I claim for working on a bank holiday?
Working on a bank holiday will always be paid at the rate of DOUBLE TIME whether for payment or time off. This also applies to part time working officers.
When a bank holiday falls on a rest day, the bank holiday always take precedence, the rest day MUST be re-rostered to another day (after consultation with the officer) The re-rostered day is a rest day and all conditions applying to rest days apply to it. Should the officer then be required to work on the bank holiday he/she would get paid or have time off at the rate of double time, (officers choice)
If an officer is informed that he/she is required to work on a bank holiday with less than 8 days notice, then in addition to getting paid double time for the bank holiday (or time off) he/she would also be entitled to another day off which shall be notified to him/her within 4 days of notification of the requirement and which shall be treated for the purpose of this regulation as a bank holiday.
The authority of an Assistant Chief Constable is required for officers to work on a PHL with less than 15 days notice.
Q7. I was told I had to start my shift earlier than scheduled, what can I claim?
Where the time at which an officer is due to commence a rostered tour of duty is brought forward without due notice (less than 8 hours) so that they are required to commence duty on a day in which they have already completed their normal period of duty. The time for which they are on duty before the rostered commencement time shall be reckonable as overtime and also taken into account as part of that tour of duty. The force day commences at 7 A.M.
If you are given more than 8 hours notice of the duty change then your working day merely starts at the new time. If the time you are brought on at is before 7 A.M. following a period of rest days then you will be eligible to claim rest day over time (minimum 4 hours)
Q8. What will I get paid if I work after 8 p.m?
Officers from the rank of constable to chief inspector will receive an additional 10 per cent of their basic pay for all hours worked between 8.00pm and 6.00am, including overtime. This payment is not pensionable and should be paid for each full hour actually worked. Where overtime is worked between 8.00pm and 6.00pm, the rate of the allowance is still 10 per cent of basic pay, not 10 per cent of the overtime rate. The allowance is paid in full in respect of each full hour worked – the 'Queen's half hour' is not excluded.
Q9. What is on-call and what am I entitled too?
On call means that during a period between two tours of duty you are required to be contactable and deployable to recall to duty immediately. There is an expectation that you are physically fit and able to be recalled at short notice. This differs from the general recall to duty that all officers can be subject to. The Federation view is that officers should not be expected to be on call on a rest day which is a 24hr period free from work.
The on-call allowance was introduced following the Winsor recommendations, came in force from 1st April 2013, and is not retrospective. All federated ranks are covered by this allowance.
An officer "shall receive an allowance of £20 in respect of each day on which he spends any time on-call" - para 13) Annex U to determination for Reg 34.
It should be remembered that on-call is entirely voluntary and is designed to be used where it is not practicable or reasonable to have it covered by a 24/7 shift pattern.
The Force currently has a list of recognised on-call posts.
If you feel that you perform on-call but do not receive the allowance, please contact the Fed office.
ON CALL & AVAILABLE FOR CALL OUT – IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
Yes there is – and the difference is significant.
Following the recommendations contained in the Winsor review, Government recognised that there should be some compensation for officers who are prepared, for operational reasons, to voluntarily make themselves contactable whilst not on duty. This resulted in a change to Police Regulations and entitles any federated rank member to an allowance of £20 in respect of each day when a period of time is spent on call. On call is voluntary and the requirement to be on call must be authorised by senior line management. If you agree to be on call for a specified duration certain restrictions are placed on your personal time including the necessity to respond immediately if required to do so, be contactable at all times, remain within reasonable travel time to your normal duty base and to remain fit for duty. If you receive the on call allowance and do not adhere to these restrictions you may be subject of misconduct proceedings.
So, what is the difference in being available for call out?
Technically, all police officers are always available for call out and examples of where such action has been necessary include the recent flood alerts and the helicopter crashes which all required an immediate multi officer response. However, none of the restrictions associated with the on-call status and allowance apply and, consequently, nothing prevents you, for example, from travelling out of the county or otherwise being unable to respond to spontaneous requests to return to duty. Whilst there are no restrictions attached to being available for call out you would not attract the on call allowance and you may still be subject to a lawful order to attend for duty.
Both ‘on call and ‘available for call out’ status will attract overtime compensation for constables and sergeants in the event you physically return to duty.
Q10. Away from Home Allowance & Hardship Allowance, what is it and can I claim?
If you are required by the force to stay overnight at a location and not allowed to return home, you may claim a £50 allowance per night. To receive this you must be "held in reserve". Regulations state "that a member is held in reserve for the purposes of this paragraph if the member is serving away from his normal place of duty (whether because the member has been provided for the assistance of another police force under section 24 of the Police Act 1996 or otherwise) and is required to stay in a particular, specified place rather than being allowed to return home." You would not be able to claim this if you were on training or "routine enquiries". Following an amendment to the determinations on 1st March 15, simply being unable to return home because of the physical distance may not allow a claim as it allows discretion of the Chief Constable.
Police regulations changed the criteria to qualify for the away from home overnight allowance on 1 March 2015.
The definition of “held in reserve” has been amended and now includes the need to be ready for immediate deployment. This means that you will be eligible for payment only if your deployment requires you to be ready to be recalled to duty between shifts. For example if you are sent to another force on mutual aid to search for a missing person and you are told that you need to be ready for immediate deployment during the period you are off duty in case new intelligence comes to light (as long as you meet the other criteria too), you will qualify for the payment.
You will not qualify for the allowance if, for instance, you are sent to another force to interview a prisoner, stay overnight because it is not practical to return home on the same day and there is no requirement for you to be ready to deploy between shifts whilst you are there.
Officers may claim a £30 per night hardship allowance if they are held in reserve (see para above) and are not offered proper accommodation. “Proper accommodation” means a room for the sole occupation of the member, with an en-suite bathroom. This would be paid in addition to the £50 per night away from home overnight allowance described above.
Q11. I got involved in something off duty, what can I claim?
There are no Regulations or PNB Agreements covering this issue. It is generally accepted that 'off duty' officers place themselves 'on duty' when acting in purported performance of their duties as constables, all officers will be regarded as being 'on duty' and thus be afforded the protection that such a state entails. If in so doing, however, they commit any illegal act(s) the position becomes less clear and it could well be held that they are not acting in execution of their duty.
There is sometimes a discussion to be had about whether the officer did any more than a member of the public would have done in the same circumstances. Police officers are in an interesting position because we do not really have the option to walk on by and ignore a situation requiring an intervention. Managers being asked to authorise overtime for what an officer did off duty should consider how they would respond to a complaint that an off-duty officer did not act. Would the manager be considering misconduct for neglect of duty? We suggest that in most cases there will be a valid claim.
If this has happened to you or to an officer, you supervise, talk it through and exercise common sense and fairness on both sides.
Q12. I received a telephone call whilst at home when I was off duty. Can I claim overtime?
Maybe. The only time this normally happens is if you are officially on-call for something, and you receive a telephone call about the matter for which you are on call. This is classified as a recall to duty and you may reckon a minimum of four hours overtime at the appropriate rate for the sort of day it is (rest day or public holiday: double time). The minimum 4 hours do not apply if it is a normal working day where the compensation is time & a third, for the actual hours worked. To qualify for it to be a recall to duty you need to do more than just receive information but to actively engage in following up the call with delegation, instruction or decision making of some kind. Simply receiving a call from work in itself is not enough.
The authority for this derives from the case of Lavelle V Chief Constable of Northumbria, which was about a Police Search Advisor. The Judge said,
“In the first place it is necessary to see whether on a particular occasion the Claimant was doing something he was required to perform. If he was, it matters not that he does not receive a specific instruction, "you are recalled to duty.” He is being recalled to his duty by the fact of the call upon him at a time when it is his duty to respond. For that reason, I would distinguish those occasions when the Claimant was not actually rostered as on-call. On those occasions, he could, if approached for help, do as he did on one occasion and refer the enquiry to someone who was. If on those occasions he took the call, he was strictly, it seems to me a volunteer doing what he did as a matter of goodwill and no doubt, because it would reflect well upon him that he did it.
“Second, I do not think that there would be a recall to duty if the Claimant did not engage in some way with the call in a way that amounted to a performance of his duty as a Police Search Adviser. Even on occasions when he was rostered, if the result of answering the call was simply to deflect it in some way, because there had been a mistake in calling upon him or the call was about something which was out with his particular expertise, or for some other similar reason, it would not seem to me he was recalled to his duty. But if he engaged with the enquiry and dealt with it within the scope of his duty as a Police Search Adviser, it seems to me that it falls within the Regulations as a recall."
The judgement makes clear that if the officer was on-call, but contacted about something that had nothing to do with him/her being the on-call Police Search Advisor, it did not constitute a recall to duty.
If you are called about a court warning, duty change, or anything else work-related, you are not being recalled to duty and there is no overtime claim. However, the telephone conversation (on-call or not) does constitute working time and should be recorded as such.
A recent case involving Devon & Cornwall Chis Handlers is another authority. Please contact the Fed office for more details.
Q13. I booked a day off as TOIL and now I have to work, can I claim anything?
Unfortunately, you get no compensation for this. You just get the time back.
Q14. Can I be made to take time off instead of payment for overtime?
No. When you work overtime, it is your choice whether you are paid or take time off.
Every now and again, we receive a call from an officer who states that a manager has requested overtime to be carried out saying that the budget has run out and there will be no paid overtime. If there is no budget then they can find someone else to deal with the job. The Police Regulations stipulate that you have a choice between payment and time off. If management refuse to pay you, they are breaking the law and render themselves liable to discipline.
Remember that the time off is at the same rate as the overtime. If you have reckoned 6 units it becomes 8, meaning you can take two hours as Time Off In Lieu of overtime.
Q15. I'm being asked to change my duties at short notice, can they do that?
The Chief Officer shall cause to be published duty rosters for members of his/her force after full consultation with the Joint Branch Board at intervals not exceeding 12 months and not later than 1 month before the date in which it starts. Each roster will set out for at least 3 months the following:
Where alterations are made to an annual duty roster after its publication these changes must arise from the exigencies of duty (unless they are made at the officer’s own request or have otherwise been agreed with the joint branch board). The term exigencies of duty should be interpreted as relating to situations where a pressing demand, need or requirement is perceived that is not reasonably avoidable and necessitates a change of roster. In this context the word, pressing, relates to the expected situation at the time when the duty is to be performed rather than the time when the duty roster is changed, i.e. the reasons for a change may be known many months in advance but still be pressing.
Changes to rosters should only be made after full consideration of welfare, operational and practical circumstances rather than purely on financial grounds. Because rosters are produced annually a number of unforeseen reasons for changes may subsequently arise. It is clearly not possible to produce an exhaustive list of all of the potential reasons, which may necessitate changes. However, by way of example, unforeseen public order situations, court attendance and essential training would justify changes to rostered duties. An officer should be told as soon as the requirement for the change is known and at the latest, by midnight on the calendar day before the changed period of duty commences.