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West Midlands Police Federation

West Midlands Police Federation contact details

Regulations reminder: short notice change to duties

13 May 2020

All officers should receive at least three months’ notice to any changes in duties – unless the Force deems it to be due to exigencies of duty.

Before duties are published, the chief officer has to fully consult with the Police Federation at least once a year and all duty rosters have to be published no later than one month before the date it starts.

Each roster will set out for at least three months the following:

  • Officer rest days
  • Public holidays on which they may be required to work
  • The time at which their scheduled daily period of duty begins and ends
  • Free days for part-time members of staff
  • Intervals of at least 11 hours between the end of one shift and the beginning of the next
  • An interval between rostered rest days not exceeding seven days. 

The only time these regulations can be waivered from is due to the officer’s own request, a previous agreement with the Federation or through exigencies of duty.

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, ie 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.

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