90 days from today is Wed, 23 October 2024

Sussex Police Federation

Chairs Update Q2 2023

7 July 2023

Sussex Police Federation

 

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to you at a time when I can honestly say our 3000+ members have never been busier. Sussex officers are working longer hours than they ever have, and the demands put on them exceed anything we have seen over the past generation.

 

12 hour Shifts / Shift Changes / Breaches of Reg 22

 

This is an area that has seen the most significant impact on our officers, within the Federation Office we have been overwhelmed with emails and calls from exhausted officers who are at breaking point. The constant shift changes and 12-hour shifts are unsustainable and many of these changes are a breach of the Police Regulations, as they are not an exigency of duty.

We have raised our serious concerns direct with the Chief Officers and are working with them to look at ways in which we can reduce the intrusion into officer’s private lives and better support them whilst a solution can be found. I’d like to highlight below some of our immediate concerns that are being addressed:

 

12- hours shifts/shift changes

 

The duty time provisions are found in Regulation 22, Annex E of the Police Regulations 2003.

Duty rosters must set out officer’s rest days, free days, public holidays on which they are required to work and specific start and finish times of scheduled periods of duty for at least three months from when it comes into effect and must be published at least one month
before they commence.

In short, Officers must know when their rest days are, the days they are due to work and the start and finish times of their shifts – all 90 days in advance. This ensures officers can maintain their private lives and that those with families can support their partners, both vital with the everyday pressures that also come with being a Police officer. 

 

Officers shifts are only permitted to be moved within 90 days, under an exigency of duty.

 

It is important to note, that you can still be made to change your shift as it is a lawful order however, this may be a breach of the Police Regulations (Reg 22). We have already served a letter before legal action on the force around the number of Reg 22 breaches when officers are having their shifts changed, or put on extended shifts with less than 90 days’ notice, and this is an area we are closely monitoring.

 

Officers notified of a shift change/12-hour shift being directed to find a replacement if unavailable.

 

It was previously the responsibility of the officer to seek a replacement if they were unable to work a duty change assigned to them. This was wrong and we raised that with the Chief Officers. With immediate effect, it will no longer be the responsibility of the officer to seek a replacement for any change/extended tour of duty they have been allocated that they are unable to fulfil. The below process has now been agreed and it will be the responsibility of the Chief Inspector to manage, please see below: -

‘If an officer is unable to complete any change of duty they have been allocated they should inform their C/Insp as soon as practicable with the rationale so an assessment can be made and if appropriate a decision on a replacement officer.’

 

Meal entitlement for extended duty / 12-hour shifts

 

We are aware that a significant number of our officers are unable to afford to purchase food and are skipping meals, particularly when they are doing extended/12-hour shifts. The Federation have raised this as an urgent concern with the Chief Officers who are exploring ways to reimburse you within 7 days, or alternatively, to offer a voucher for local establishments. We will keep you updated with this.

 

We would like to remind officers that you are entitled to claim for food if you are kept on duty or your shift is extended beyond your normal daily period of duty (see Reg 35 (b) below)

 

Regulation 35 , Annex V is what governs police expenses claims and states the following: –

 

  1. When a member of a police force is retained on duty beyond their normal daily period of duty, they shall be reimbursed the cost of any meal they then necessarily obtain provided that expenditure is reasonable and backed by a receipt.

 

Reasonable, in this context, I would say is as much as is appropriate or fair in the circumstances. Therefore, the regulations haven’t put an exact figure on food expenses.

The current reimbursement procedure is to fill out an A27 form which can be found on the intranet and submit to your line manager along with a receipt, you will then be reimbursed in your next pay packet.  

 

 

Industrial Rights

 

Following the steep decline in pay for Police officers over the past 10 years and the Federations subsequent withdrawal from the PRRB, the Government / Home office has still not engaged with the Federation to agree a fairer Pay Review Body. It’s worth remembering we are only asking for a pay negotiating body similar to what our Police colleagues have in Scotland (PNB), the MP’s have themselves and all other public sector workers have, ensuring far higher pay increases than police officers have received. Independent research has concluded that Police Officers over the past 20 years have received, on average, 17% less than any other of our comparators in the public sector, a shameful statistic that is now coming back to haunt officers during this cost-of-living crisis.

At the June Federation National Council meeting, the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) voted overwhelmingly to ballot all of our members on whether the organisation should pursue industrial rights on behalf of our membership, a motion that I spoke in favour of and fully supported. 

I am pleased to inform you that the National Federation, working with local branches, will now launch a campaign to give members all the information they need to vote, whilst ensuring that everything is put in place to facilitate the maximum possible turnout. The ballot will be held as soon as practicable and in time to allow the result to be announced by 1st January 2024 at the latest.

I will keep you updated with further information in due course.

 

Police Pension Discrimination Claim

 

I recently e-mailed all our members direct regarding the recent Judgment of the Police Pension Discrimination Claim against Police Federation of England and Wales. This finding confirmed that information from the National Federation at the time (2011 -2012 onwards) was deliberately misleading and the PFEW did not represent the best interests of most of their membership over pensions changes. As I have already said, it cannot be underestimated the impact this had on affected officers whose pensions were slashed, whilst others were unaffected, there is no doubt in my mind that the majority who were affected (including me) were let down and ignored. 

The national Federation are still assessing the findings. I have officially called for a full independent internal review of the way the pension changes were handled by PFEW, particularly in 2011/2012 and subsequent years. I will not rest until this has been achieved and those responsible are held to account. I will keep you informed on this.

 

Sussex Federation Office

 

We have now moved into our new office in Lancing. I’m pleased to inform you all that we have already held our council and board meetings here (a substantial saving!). We have also held a GM hearing and have regular meetings with members being supported by the Federation. We invite any of our members who are passing by during office hours to pop in for a chat and a coffee and to see the new office.

 

The address is:

 

Unit 4 Wayside,

7 Commerce Way,

Lancing Business Park,

BN15 8SW

 

 

Group Insurance Scheme

 

Around 85% of our members are subscribing to the Group Insurance Scheme. For £29.99 a month, they get access to a range of cover inc Arc Legal which, amongst other areas, covers you legally/financially for any off-duty/non policing matters.

 

It is really important to remember the standard Federation subscription covers you whilst on duty. As per the funding rules, it will not cover you for anything that is NOT in the lawful execution of your duty (even if you are ON DUTY at the time).

 

Sadly, we have had a growing number of the 15% who are NOT in the scheme coming to us for legal assistance for misconduct matters which are issues that were not in lawful execution of their duty. Unfortunately, if you are not in the Group Insurance Scheme, we cannot provide financial or legal assistance. This has left some of our colleagues facing legal bills in excess of £45,000 (Guilty or not). Due to these circumstances, if you are not in the Group Insurance Scheme, I would ask that you to take a look at it again or implore you to find alternative legal cover for up to £50,000 which will cover Police misconduct

 

For the information of those members who are not subscribing, the Group Insurance also includes: -

 

£125,000 Life Assurance (This can be topped by by £50,000, £75,000 or £100,000 for an additional monthly fee - contact our admin team for further information)

£10,000 Critical Illness cover

Personal Accident cover (inc overnight hospital stays, unpaid court award compensation plus more)

Reg 28 sick pay top up

Worldwide Family travel Insurance

RAC Motor Breakdown

GP Care on Demand

Mobile / Gadget Insurance

Best Doctor Service

 

Find more information here.

Please email admin@sussex.polfed.org if you would like to join.

 

Treasurer Role

 

We would like to welcome Chris Thompson to the team as the new Treasurer of Sussex Police Federation. Chris brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience, and an array of new ideas of how we can support our officers in the future. 

 

We would like to sincerely thank our previous Treasurer, Donna Lonsdale for all her hard work and commitment in supporting our membership, particularly over the last 6 years in the Federation office. We wish her all the best in her new career as a Supervisor with Sussex Police.

 

Meet the Team - Federation Representatives

 

We are eager for our members to actively communicate with the Federation Workplace Reps to highlight any ongoing local issues. Each division’s Fed reps hold quarterly meetings with their Command Team to communicate these issues, however, if you don’t tell your local Reps about it, we won’t know about it. Following these meetings, your local reps will be sending out quarterly emails to you with updates on the issues they raise on your behalf, including any outcomes.

 

On this note, I cannot thank our hard-working Federation Reps enough for their dedication and hard work. Far too often their voluntary work goes unnoticed, the majority giving up their own time to support their colleagues when they need it the most.

 

To find out who your local reps are, please click here.

 

Sandy Balls Holiday Lodge

 

The application forms to apply for a stay at our Sandy Balls Holiday Lodge in 2024 will be going out in August. Please keep an eye on your police email accounts.

 

 

As always, if you want to talk about anything, please speak to one of your workplace reps (Meet the team), or contact us (office hours), or drop in and see us.

 

Kind regards

Daren Egan

Chair, Sussex Police Federation