90 days from today is Fri, 13 September 2024

Sussex Police Federation

FAQs

Please see PFEW Quick Reference Guide here

  1. What is a lawful order?
  2. Travel Time
  3. What can you tell me about the entitlement to overtime?
  4. What is a Recall to duty?
  5. What happens if I am required to start my rostered duty earlier?
  6. Compensation for duty on a rostered rest day.
  7. Compensation for duty on a public holiday
  8. Telephone calls received whilst at home on rest day or after tour of duty
  9. I have been asked to perform as an Acting Sergeant/Inspector but have been told there is a qualifying period. Also, am I entitled to overtime? If so, at what rate?
  10. Student Officers
  11. How does sick leave affect my pay?
  12. How many days can I work in one go?
  13. What about my entitlement to a meal break?
  14. I have had to return from Annual Leave to attend court, what can I claim?
  15. I am being asked to change my duties at short notice, can they do that?
  16. My rest day was cancelled for an operational reason; I am now no longer required to work on that day as they have scaled the operation down, what am I entitled to?
  17. I have been involved in a firearms incident.  What is the Federation advice?
  18. My child's school was unexpectedly closed for the day & he was sent home, I couldn't arrange childcare, do I have to use annual leave or time out of the book to care for them?
  19. I want to work part-time. Can I choose the hours I work?
  20. I am an Inspector and do not have a duty roster published. Is this right?
  21. Can I be forced to use Time Off in Lieu from my SAP pot?
  22. How much annual leave am I entitled to?
  23. What contact can a Suspended officer have with their colleagues?
  24. Sickness whilst on TOIL
  25. Can I claim a tax refund on my Federation Subscription?
  26. Do I qualify for SSP?
  27. What are Working Time Regulations?
  28. I am an Inspector / Chief Inspector, are there different rules for me?

 

 


1. What is a lawful order?

You can be required to carry out all lawful orders and must at all times punctually and promptly perform all the appointed duties and attend to all matters within the scope of your office as a Constable.

(Reg. 20 - Police Regulations & Standards of Professional Behaviour, Police Conduct Regulations)

An order is generally lawful provided that it is for police purposes and would not render you liable to any criminal, civil or disciplinary action. In case of doubt, contact your local Federation representative.

You can be required to perform overtime by an officer of a higher rank.

Work, which you may not be required to perform.

It would generally be unlawful to require you to undertake:

i. the regular cleaning or any part of the cleaning of a particular Police Station, and
ii. any other work not connected with police duty.

 


2. Travel Time

Travel Time between home and your usual place of duty is generally not duty time for the purposes of Police Regulations, but it is for the purposes of Police Pension Regulations.

The general premise of travelling time was removed from Police Regulations in 2002 and now only remains in very limited circumstances.

The current circumstances where travelling time as duty time is recognised under Police Regulations are as follows.

Where an individual;

  • Is required to perform his normal duty in more than one tour of duty (Split shift)
  • Is recalled to duty between two tours of duty
  • Where an individual works a paid rest day which is greater than 4 hours in length but less than 6 hours in total.

However, should you be required to attend another location for duty and in order to do so you genuinely need to attend your normal station first, then you should book on once you arrive at your home station and travel in duty time.

(Reg. 22 & Annex E - Police Regulations) (Force Policy) 

 


3. What can you tell me about the entitlement to overtime?

Overtime is potentially payable when:

  • You remain on duty after your tour of duty ends,
  • When you are recalled between two tours of duty, or
  • You are required to begin earlier than the rostered time without due notice (less than 8 hours before the new start time) and on a day when you have already completed your normal daily period of duty.

Planned overtime

Where you are informed at or before the commencement of your tour that you will be required to remain on duty after the tour ends there will be no requirement to deduct the first half hour of any overtime worked.

Casual overtime

Where you are not informed at the commencement of your tour of duty that you will be required to remain on duty after the tour of duty ends then, on the first four occasions in any week, the first 30 minutes of any overtime worked is to be disregarded in calculating the overtime allowance to which you are entitled. This now applies whether the overtime is submitted for payment or time off in lieu. This topic has been regularly reviewed by the Federation nationally and it's lawyers. It is not a breach of our Human Rights under European or UK law, nor is it considered to be slavery. 

 


4. What is a Recall to duty?

If an officer is recalled to duty between two tours of duty then overtime at time and a third for the hours worked can be claimed, plus travelling time to and from work, up to a maximum of 1 hour each way. A recall to duty is when an officer is required to return to work between two rostered shifts i.e. a call out.

Explanation

When there is a recall to duty then the actual hours worked is claimed, plus travelling. A maximum of 1 hour travelling each way can be claimed in Sussex. Officers living outside the county can only claim travelling time once within the county. If more than 4 hours are worked then the travelling time is still added. Unlike Rest days and Public Holidays, there is no maximum time worked on a rostered day that causes the travelling time to be disregarded. 

 


5. What happens if I am required to start my rostered duty earlier?

Where an officer is required to start earlier than his rostered tour of duty, without due notice, so that he starts on a day when he has already completed a tour of duty, then the time he works between the new start time and the original start time shall be reckonable as overtime, and shall be taken into account as part of that duty. Due notice means notice given at least 8 hours before the revised start time. Para 25 (2)

Explanation

An officer works 9am to 5pm on Monday and is scheduled to work 9am to 5pm on Tuesday. He is given less than 8 hours notice that he is to work 4am to 12 noon on Tuesday and in this example he was told after 8pm on the Monday. The Police Day is 6am to 6am. Therefore, the police 'day' on Monday starts at 6am and finishes at 6am on Tuesday. By starting at 4am he is beginning a shift on a day when he has already worked. He gets overtime from the beginning of his new shift - 4am - until 9am, which was his original rostered start time. This is claimed at a third time - as he is already being paid for the period 4am to 9am as it is part of his new duty for that day. Any time worked beyond 12 noon, i.e. once he has done an 8-hour shift (4am to 12 noon) that day, is overtime and claimed as either casual or pre-planned as appropriate. 

 


6. Compensation for duty on a rostered rest day.

Where you are required to do duty on a rostered rest day you are entitled to:

  • Less than fifteen days' notice - compensation at the rate of time and one half. The choice of being paid or taking the time in lieu is an individual choice and cannot be imposed.
  • On fifteen days' notice or more - another rest day which should be notified to you within four days of notification of the requirement to work.

The compensation will be for a minimum of four hours (except where the period worked is for less than one hour and it immediately follows a period for which you were on duty for a normal period of duty in the preceding Force day). A re-rostered rest day is subject to rest day compensation if there is a requirement to work on that day. When calculating the number of days' notice given, disregard both the day on which the requirement was notified and the day on which you are being required to do duty.

(Reg. 25 & Annex G - Police Regulations)

What do I do if my Rest Days are cancelled? 

 


7. Compensation for duty on a public holiday

Where you are required to do duty on a public holiday you shall be granted:
Where less than eight days' notice is received:

payment of double time; and another day off in lieu.

This day should be notified within four days of the notification of the requirement to work, and the lieu day will be treated, as a public holiday should there be a requirement to work on that day. In any other case, an allowance at the appropriate rate, i.e. double time.

(Reg. 26 & Annex G - Police Regulations) 

 


8. Telephone calls received whilst at home on rest day or after tour of duty

Contrary to popular belief, there is no provision of entitlement to four hours' payment (suitably enhanced) for receiving a telephone call at home though this may be arguable if the telephone call is of significant duration. If, however, a call is received and as a result of that call you are required or instructed to go somewhere, or perform duty, then the view is that this may well be a recall to duty and be eligible for the appropriate amount of compensation.

Answering the telephone does not constitute a recall to duty. 

 


9. I have been asked to perform as an Acting Sergeant/Inspector but have been told there is a qualifying period. Also, am I entitled to overtime? If so, at what rate?

Each financial year, you are required to work for10 complete days cumulative (in the case of a part-time officer 80 complete hours and an officer with variable shift arrangements qualifying shifts amounting in total to 80 hours) in a 12 month period before you can receive a temporary salary. A period of 12 months begins on 1 April.

Acting Sergeants and Inspectors are entitled to Temporary Duty Allowance. Any overtime incurred whilst acting will be paid at your substantive rank - i.e. 1) an Acting Sergeant's overtime will be paid at Constable's rates and 2) an Acting Inspector's overtime will be paid at Sergeant's rates but only during the first 10 working days and on any Rest Days or Bank Holidays during the entire period of Acting. No overtime is payable on a normal working day once the first 10 working days of Acting have been completed.

If you are an officer who has been promoted to a temporary rank, there is no requirement to work a qualifying period and you will in fact progress through the pay scales of your temporary rank until you revert back to your substantive rank. If you are promoted again to a temporary rank, you will automatically start at the same pay point of that rank where you left off.

A Police Negotiating Board (PNB) agreement on this issue was published in June 2008. Please follow this link to see the full detail which now contains a maximum recommended limit in time over which Acting Duties should be performed.

This limit has not been incorporated into Regulations as yet and is not, at this time, a legal requirement. 

 


10. Student Officers

I am a student officer and they are talking about extending my probation, what should I do?

Consult your Area representative without delay. Regulations 12 Police Regulations 2003 says that a member of a police force appointed in the rank of constable shall be on probation for the first 2 years of his service as a constable in that police force following his last appointment thereto or for such longer period as the chief officer determines in the circumstances of a particular case.

I am a student officer and have been told a case conference is to be held to look at whether to terminate my probation and career in the police. What should I do?

Consult your Area representative without delay. Regulation 13 Police Regulations 2003 says that if during the period of probation in the force the services of a constable may be dispensed with at any time if the chief officer considers that he is not fitted, physically or mentally, to perform the duties of his office, or that he is not likely to become an efficient or well conducted constable. (This decision can only be made by the Chief Constable). A constable whose services are dispensed with under this regulation is entitled to receive a month's notice or a month's pay in lieu thereof. 

 


11. How does sick leave affect my pay?

(see also Regulation 28 and Annex K, Police Determinations and Regulations)

The Secretary of State's determination of sick pay under regulation 28 of the Police regulations 2003 provides that a member of a police force who is absent on sick leave shall be entitled to full pay for six months in any one year period. Thereafter, the member becomes entitled to half pay for six months in any one year period.

The Chief Constable retains the discretion, however, to extend the period of entitlement to, as appropriate, full pay or half pay. For further details as to how this would affect you, please visit the Sickness Advice section on this website and then contact the JBB office. 

 


12. How many days can I work in one go?

Regulation 22, Annex E, Police Regulations and Determinations 2003 makes it quite clear that there is to be an interval between each of an officer's rostered rest days not exceeding 7 days, unless in the case of a part-time member or a longer interval has been agreed between the member and the chief officer. In addition to this, a period of more than 7 days can be worked "owing to the exigencies of duty" (Annex E 3 f) 

 


13. What about my entitlement to a meal break?

In Police Regulations the normal daily period of duty (including refreshments) is 8 hours. As far as the exigencies of duty permit the normal daily period of duty shall be performed in one tour, with an interval of 45 minutes for refreshments, except when a half-day's annual leave is taken.

Police Regulations also provide for variable shift arrangements, such as the one we work in Sussex. Where an officer works in accordance with variable shift arrangement is on duty for a continuous period of 5 hours or more, time for refreshments shall as far as exigencies of duty permit be allowed as follows:

Number of Hours

Refreshment Time

Less than 6

30 minutes

6 ~ 7 hours

35 minutes

7 ~ 8 hours

40 minutes

8 ~ 9 hours

45 minutes

9 ~ 10 hours

50 minutes

10 hours or more

60 minutes

A "day" means a period of 24 hours starting at 7am as determined some years ago by the Chief Constable, unless your shift pattern usually starts at a different time.

Click here for further information 

 


14. 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 � 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.

Know your rights - Annual Leave 

 


15. I am 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:

  • His/her rest days.
  • Public Holidays in which he/she may be required to do duty on.
  • The time at which his/her scheduled daily period of duty begins & end.
  • For part time members his/her free days.
  • Intervals of at least 11 hours between the end and the beginning of the next shift.
  • An interval between rostered rest days not exceeding 7 days.

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.

(Regs. 20,21,22 & Annex E - Police Regulations) 

 


16. My rest day was cancelled for an operational reason; I am now no longer required to work on that day as they have scaled the operation down, what am I entitled to?

When an officers rest day is cancelled in anticipation of an operational need for which in any event he/she is not required to attend for duty:

Where the officer is told with more than 7 days notice that he/she will not after all be required to work on his/her rest day, he/she will take the rest day with no compensation. Where the officer is given less than 8 days notice he/she can choose between taking the rest day with no compensation or working on the rest day with compensation in accordance with Police Regulations. 

 


17. I have been involved in a firearms incident.  What is the Federation advice?

 ADVICE TO FIREARMS OFFICERS POST SHOOTING INCIDENT Officers who have fired shots will always be subject of an investigation for potential criminal offences and should be reminded of their rights (Ch.6, para 2.31, ACPO Manual). Following an incident you must consider the fact that you may be treated as a suspect or a witness. This is a very fine line. It is in your interest that if you are being treated as a suspect you should say nothing until legal advice has been obtained. You have legal rights under the PACE Act 1984 and these should not be compromised. If however you are being treated as a witness then the following matters should be considered: Remember – All conversations are disclosable

• Ask the Post Incident Manager to contact the Police Federation, who can arrange legal advice and other support including contact with relatives, refreshment etc

• Initial notes should only be made subject to medical and legal advice

• The Manual of Guidance recognises that statements should only be made after officers have overcome any initial shock of the incident. Be guided as to when you are ready by medical advice, a solicitor or the Federation ‘Friend’.

• If you are requested to make a ‘duty statement’, ask if you are being treated other than as a witness. It is advisable to include on such a statement the following ‘I make this statement on the express understanding that it shall not be used or disclosed in any proceedings of whatever nature against myself’

• You can confer with officers involved in the same incident before making notes but seek advice from your federation friend first

• Ask to see the Force Psychologist/Welfare Officer

• During any de-brief, comments are disclosable. Other officers’ accounts may influence or alter your own recollection of events. Try and recall your own, or use a Federation ‘Friend’ or solicitor as a reference point

• You may be asked to provide samples of blood, urine and DNA. In all cases seek advice from the solicitor or Federation ‘Friend’ The Federation only provides legal assistance to those members who subscribe to the Federation funds. You may be experiencing an understandable acute psychological reaction to the event commonly referred to as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Common symptoms include:-

• fearfulness • crying • shaking • agitation • patchy memory • anger • grief • detachment • difficulty concentrating • depression or sense of unreality • numbing or absence of emotion • feelings of guilt or self recrimination

If you feel any of these symptoms you should speak to the Federation ‘Friend’, solicitor or Post Incident Manager for medical attention. Remember – If you are on any medication, no matter how minor, eg; Asprin/Lemsip/Nightnurse/ Hayfever, etc, be sure to declare it on weapons issue.

 


18. My child's school was unexpectedly closed for the day & he was sent home, I couldn't arrange childcare, do I have to use annual leave or time out of the book to care for them?

A police officer may take time off because of the unexpected disruption or termination of arrangements for the care of a dependant, or

To deal with an incident which involves a child of the member and which occurs unexpectedly in a period during which an educational establishment, which the child attends, is responsible for him/her.

Leave taken as time off for dependants shall be treated as duty, but does not apply unless the member tells his/her Chief Officer the reason for his/her absence as soon as reasonably practicable. Best practice would be to inform a line supervisor of your circumstances ASAP after you become aware of it.

A "dependant" means, in relation to a member of a police force:

a. a spouse,
b. a child,
c. a parent,
d. A person who lives in the same household as the member, otherwise than by reason of being his employee, tenant, lodger or border.

This also covers when a dependant falls ill, gives birth or is injured or assaulted or in consequence of the death of a dependant.

(Reg. 33 & Annex T - Police Regulations) 

 


19. I want to work part-time. Can I choose the hours I work?

Not necessarily. If you want to become a part-time worker then you must approach your division and request part-time hours. Negotiation should then take place involving you and your divisional personnel officer as to what hours would be suitable for you and the Force. However, once the 'determined hours' are agreed then they can only be changed with both parties agreement. (Force Policy on Part-time Working can be found on the Intranet Policy Database) 

 


20. I am an Inspector and do not have a duty roster published. Is this right?

Yes. Police Regulations do not require rosters to be published for Inspectors or Chief Inspectors but Home Office Circular 21/97 states that Inspectors and Chief Inspectors, no less than other members, need to be able to plan for work, personal and family commitments. Therefore, it is important that you should be given reasonable notice of when you will be required to be on duty. 

 


21. Can I be forced to use Time Off in Lieu from my SAP pot?

The simple answer is NO. Police Regulations state that the choice of compensation claimed for working overtime rests with the officer. If compensation is claimed by way of 'time-off in lieu' and this time is not granted within three months then this should automatically be paid into your salary. However, this is not an automatic process. It may become so in the future, but, for the time being, if you are being told to take the time off, and you do not wish to take it and you do not want to keep it on record (SAP) to use later, then ask for the time to be paid instead!!

(Annex H 1 e - Police Regulations)

You should however, remember that both you and your line manager are responsible for managing how much time you have held in this way and that you should make every effort to take time off within three months of having worked the additional hours. 

 


22. How much annual leave am I entitled to?

 

A

B

Length of service

2011

2011

Less than 2 years relevant service

22

176

2 or more years relevant service

25

200

5 or more years relevant service

25

200

10 or more years relevant service

27

216

15 or more years relevant service

28

224

20 or more years relevant service

30

240

The entitlement is shown in 'days' (column A). A day is defined as 8 hours; therefore, officers working a Variable Shift Arrangement should convert 'days' to 'hours' (column B)

 


23. What contact can a Suspended officer have with their colleagues?

 

Suspension of a police officer is officially and technically a neutral act. The effect on that officer is far from neutral. Feelings of being ostracised and isolated from one's colleagues are common place.

What is also common place is a request from Sussex Police managers or Professional Standards Department that any contact with a suspended officer must be reported.

Federation advice is that this can only ever be a request and cannot ever be a lawful requirement or order unless that contact contains evidence in relation to a criminal offence.

Article 8 of the European Court of Human Rights states that:

"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others."

Sussex Police is a public authority and you will note that Article 8 makes no provision for Police Misconduct Proceedings. If you meet with a suspended colleague and wish the content of that meeting to remain private then that is your choice. Likewise if you wish to disclose the content of that meeting to PSD or your manager that is also your choice.

If you are ordered to do so then politely decline and seek federation assistance.

 


24. Sickness whilst on TOIL

If a period of certified absence will over run a period of TOIL that you have booked, you must cancel the TOIL in advance of the day otherwise you will lose it. Unlike annual leave, you cannot retrospectively claim back TOIL after the TOIL day has passed. You must contact duties in advance of the TOIL date and advise them that you have been certified unfit to work and that this will cover a period of TOIL which you wish to cancel. Duties should then cancel the TOIL  and put the hours back onto your TOIL total

 


25. Can I claim a tax refund on my Federation Subscription?

Officers can claim back tax on their Federations subs and also the flat rate expense allowance. This covered a number of previous allowances (boot allowance) that HMRC rationalised into one.

This should then result in a new tax code.

To apply for 1 year or up to 6 years please visit the Gov.Uk site HERE. You may need your P60 or payslip to apply.

 


 

26. Do I qualify for SSP?

 

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP):

  • To qualify for SSP, you will need to have been off work sick for 4 or more days in a row (including non-working days). SSP is payable from the 4th day of sickness absence.
  • You will not qualify if you have received the maximum amount of SSP (28 weeks) or you are receiving Statutory Maternity Pay.
  • You can receive £99.35 (from April 2022) per week if you are too ill to work. You cannot get less than the statutory amount.
  • SSP only shows separately on the payslip if the employee has fallen into half or nil pay. If they are in receipt of full pay then SSP will be included in the basic pay.
  • SSP can be linked to previous sickness absence, if there are less than 8 weeks between the absences, this will count towards the 28 weeks.

 

SSP1 Form:

  • If your SSP is ending your employer must send you SSP1 form either:
  • Within 7 days of your SSP ending, if it ends unexpectedly while you’re still sick.
  • On or before the beginning of the 23rd week, if your SSP is expected to end before your sickness does.
  • If you do not qualify for SSP, your employer must send you SSP1 form within 7 day of you going off sick.
  • The SSP1 form enables the employee to claim Employment Support Allowance (ESA) from DWP.

 

Employment Support Allowance (ESA):

  • This is a benefit paid to individuals who have not received ESA for at least 12 weeks and who do not qualify for SSP or whose entitlement to SSP has run out.
  • It is claimed from DWP as per the letter sent to the employee.
  • If they are successful, let Payroll know with a copy of any letter they receive from DWP to ensure they receive the correct amounts.
  • If they are not successful, let Payroll know with a copy of the rejection letter from DWP to ensure deductions are not taken from pay unnecessarily.
  • If the employee is in receipt of full pay then Payroll will deduct the ESA from their pay to ensure they do not receive more than the full pay they are entitled to.
  • If they are in receipt of half or nil pay then NO deductions would be taken but we still need to be advised as if for any reason full pay is re-instated, we will automatically take these deductions.
  • As your SSP will have ended and you should be able to claim ESA, on your return to work you will be automatically excluded from receiving SSP again for 12 weeks. This is because during these 12 weeks you would then be able to claim ESA again straightaway, if you were to fall sick again.

27. What are the Working Time Regulations?

The relevant provisions, the Working Time Regulations 1998, implement the European Working Time Directive. This Directive is based on the need to ensure a better level of protection of the safety and health of workers.

This questions should be viewed in conjunction with Working Time Regulations Part 2 which includes night work and annual leave, remedies and records.

This question set is for general guidance only and should not be treated as a definitive guide or be regarded as legal advice. If you need more details or information about the matters referred to in this factsheet please seek formal legal advice.

Do the Working Time Regulations apply to police service?

The Regulations make express provision for police service and clearly apply. The Regulations do provide for the exclusions of various rights in certain circumstances, some of which may from time to time apply. However, in view of the health and safety basis of the Regulations, it is anticipated that the exceptions will be interpreted in a very limited manner.

What is working time?

Working time is any time during which a worker is working, at the employer’s disposal and carrying out the employer’s activity or duties and any period during which the worker is receiving relevant training and any additional period which is to be treated as working time under a relevant agreement.

The determination for Regulation 22 Police Regulations 2003 now provides that time spent in travel, outside of rostered duty hours and not already covered by the travelling time treated as duty provisions, to and from duty at a place other than the normal place of duty; and time spent in travel to and from training courses other than at the usual place of duty are to be treated as working time.

What is a workforce agreement?

A workforce agreement is an agreement between an employer and workers or their representatives which modifies or excludes the application of the Regulations. In a police context it may be made between the chief officer and a Joint Branch Board.

Don’t the Police Regulations already provide for rest periods and rights which are more favourable than the minimum standard set out in the Working Time Regulations?

The Police Regulations do provide some limitations on the organisation of working time. However, in certain respects the Working Time Regulations provide worthwhile improvements and additional guarantees, the details of which are found in question 6 and onwards below.

What happens if the Police Regulations conflict with the Working Time Regulations?

Where the right under the Police Regulations is more favourable then that will apply. Where the Working Time Regulations provision is more favourable then that will take precedence.

Rest periods and daily/weekly rest

What rest breaks am I allowed while at work?

The Working Time Regulations provide that where daily working time is more than six hours there is an entitlement to a rest break. A minimum uninterrupted period of twenty minutes is allowed. The right under Police Regulations to a break of between 30 and 60 minutes depending on the length of the shift will generally be more favourable.

What rest periods am I allowed between hours of duty?

You are entitled to a rest period of not less than eleven consecutive hours in each twenty-four hour period. Thus there should be a period of at least eleven hours between finishing duty and restarting, unless an exemption applies.

A quick change over in a shift pattern is subject to the eleven hour entitlement to daily rest unless:

The duties you undertake involve succeeding another officer at the same workstation according to a certain pattern. This is thought unlikely to apply to many police officers; or

The right has been modified in a workforce agreement between the chief officer and the Joint Branch Board.

What weekly rest periods am I entitled to?

The Regulations provide for an entitlement to an uninterrupted rest period of no less than twenty-four hours in each seven day period. At the chief officer’s discretion this can be provided in the form of two uninterrupted periods of at least twenty-four hours in each fourteen day period or one uninterrupted rest period of not less than forty-eight hours in such fourteen day period.

On the face of it this entitlement is less than the entitlement to two rest days per week under the Police Regulations. There may however be occasions when a particular shift pattern or the exigencies of duty result in a failure to meet this entitlement. If this occurs there will be a breach of the Regulations unless an exemption applies.

I am required to be “on call” outside duty hours. Does this breach the Working Time Regulations?

Unless the time spent on call is agreed in a workforce agreement to be working time, it is not generally likely to fall within the definition of working time, unless there is a requirement to remain at a specific location (a requirement to be ready and able to return to work is unlikely to be sufficient). However, where an officer is called when on call this is likely to be working time. If the call results in a failure to provide an entitlement to uninterrupted rest, then the Regulations will be breached unless an exemption applies.

What limits apply to my weekly working hours?

The Regulations provide for a maximum weekly working time which shall not exceed an average of forty-eight hours for each seven days. The average is to be calculated over a reference period which, in the absence of a workforce agreement, will be a rolling period of seventeen weeks.

Provision is made for the treatment of annual leave, sick leave and maternity leave which are excluded from the calculation. An individual worker can opt out from this limit but cannot be required to do so, nor can they be penalised for refusing to do so 


28. I am an Inspector / Chief Inspector, are there different rules for me?

Click here to view A guide to Inspecting Ranks