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West Midlands Police Federation

West Midlands Police Federation contact details

Frequently Asked Questions


Here are some of the frequently asked questions regarding regulations.

However, if you have a query which is not covered below, please ask the question via e-mail: westmidlandspf@polfed.org


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.

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 over-time by an officer of a higher rank.

Q I have had to return from Annual Leave to attend court, what can I claim?

A 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.

Q I had to remain at work at the end of my shift what can I claim?

A If you work over-time 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 over-time for the first 30 minutes worked.

For example, if your tour of duty is 14:30 x 22:30, you cannot claim over-time until 23:00. Any over-time 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.

Q I had to remain at work at the end of my shift after nights going onto a rest day what can I claim?

A 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 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.

Q What can I claim for working on a rest day?

A 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, and they received less than 15 days notice of the requirement to work, they are entitled to 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.

Q What can I claim for working on a bank holiday?

A Working on a bank holiday officers of the rank of constable or sergeant, 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.

Q I was told I had to start my shift earlier than scheduled, what can I claim?

A 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 AM.

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 AM. following a period of rest days then you will be eligible to claim rest day over time (minimum 4 hours).

Q I am being asked to change my duties at short notice, can they do that?

A 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, 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.

Q 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?

A 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 (and less than 15 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.

Q What travelling time can I claim when working on a rest day?

A Where an officer is required to duty on a public holiday or on a rostered rest day his/her period of duty shall include the time occupied by him/her travelling to & from his/her place of duty. This will be disregarded where the period of duty exceeds 6 hours.

Travelling expenses may also be claimed, for the journey, this ceases when there is no travel time included in the overtime.

Q I was recalled to duty from home, what can I claim?

A Travel time between home and your usual place of duty is generally not duty time.

Such travel time shall only be treated as a period of duty when you are:

  • Required to perform your normal daily period of duty in more than one tour (Split Duty) or recalled to work between two tours of duty and you travel to and from your home between tours.
  • In calculating any period of overtime in respect of being recalled between two tours of duty, an officer can only claim for the time worked plus travelling time (1 hour).
  • The minimum of 4 hours pay for a recall to duty has been abolished.

Q My son’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 him?

A 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 boarder

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

Q What will I get paid if I work after 8 pm?

A 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.

Q What will I get paid if I have to work away from home?

A Changes to the arrangements for officers serving away from their normal place of duty (including on 'mutual aid' in another force area):

  • These changes apply to those officers who are deployed away from their normal place of duty whether in or out of force a new 'Away from home overnight' allowance of £50 will be introduced and will be payable for every night on which an officer is 'held in reserve'.
  • An officer is 'held in reserve' if he or she is serving away from his or her normal place of duty and is required to stay in a particular, specified place rather than being allowed to return home.
  • An officer is not 'held in reserve' if he or she is serving away from his or her normal place of duty only by reason of being on a training course or carrying out routine enquiries.
  • Payment of a new hardship allowance of £30 per night if 'proper accommodation' is not provided to an officer who is 'held in reserve. The definition of 'proper accommodation' is a single occupancy room with use of en suite bathroom facilities.
  • The Secretary of State's approval for the existing mutual aid arrangements set out in PNB circulars 86/15, 88/9 and 95/8 (often known as the 'Hertfordshire agreement') is withdrawn. Officers on mutual aid should now be paid in accordance with the determinations for the hours they work, including where applicable overtime and travelling time.

Q As part of my role, I’m being required to work away from my normal parade station. Can the force do this on a regular basis and what are my rights?

A Yes the force can require you to work away from your normal place of duty.

Under regulation 22 police regulations & determinations when you are working at a place other than your normal parade station then travel time has to be included into the working time. You can also claim travel expenses.

When calculating any allowance, it has been common practice for police forces to deduct the commuting distance between home and work from the total mileage claimed for work related duties. As of 1 June 2020, this method of calculation ceased and there will be no deduction for commuting distance, save where the journey is substantially the same as the daily commute and the distance travelled is less than ten miles longer in any one direction. In such cases you can only claim for the additional mileage travelled to the new location.

Under the workforce agreement made between the Chief Officer and police federation. It clearly defines that travel time is to be included as working time when travelling on the Chief Officers instruction between home and place of duty, not being the member’s usual place of duty, at any time other than the rostered starting or finishing time for the day which also complies with police regulations & determinations.

In respect of officers finishing early or starting late from their scheduled tour of duty this does occur as the LPU do not want to pay out overtime for travelling to and from work, but the regulation does state “ time spent in travel outside of rostered duty hours” which does suggest that officers are expected to work their rostered shift and anything additional having been added to the working time would be overtime.


Duty 22. - (1) The Secretary of State shall determine –

(e) The circumstances in which travelling time may be treated as duty

(3) In making a determination under paragraph (1)(e) the Secretary of State may –

(a) Confer on the chief officer discretion to fix a limit on the travelling time which is to be treated as duty; (Limited to 1 hour for West Midlands)



The following periods are to be treated as if they were additional periods of working time for the purposes of regulation 2(1) of the Working Time Regulations 1998:

a) time spent in travel, outside of rostered duty hours and not covered by paragraph 5 of this Annex, to and from duty at a place other than the normal place of duty;

West Midlands Police policy A6, paragraph 7 Special Journeys.

Parade other than normal parade station. Journeys necessitated by a requirement to parade elsewhere than at the officers normal place of duty, in which case payment will be made for any additional travel costs involved. In this context ‘additional’ is to be interpreted as the difference between the officers cost of travel to his/her normal place of duty and the cost of travel to the temporary place of duty.

Travel time in the West Midlands is set by the Chief Constable and is 1 hour. Within police regulations when you are working away from your normal place of duty, travel time has to be included as additional working time. Therefore, regardless of your tour of duty you are rostered to work you are able to incorporate an hours travelling time and any extra hours worked is overtime.

1st Example - you work 7 hours plus 1 hours travel (for a scheduled 8 hour day), any extra work over and above 7 hours is overtime.

2nd Example - you work 8 hours plus 1 hours travel (for a scheduled 9 hour day), any extra work over and above 8 hours is overtime.

Q What happens if an individual officer is sick on the PHL?

A It has been agreed that if an individual officer is sick on the PHL then the sickness should apply to the whole rostered duty so any TOIL deducted for that day can be given back. This will not happen automatically so it will require the individual to request the return via RMU / RMPT. No certification will be required for this, just the fact that they were booked sick on GRS for the day in question.

Q When I have a rest day re-rostered to another day why do they take time off my card?

A Every officer is required to work 2080 hours in a 12 month period (52 weeks x 40 hours = 2080) this is then reduced by taking away the PHLs. 8 x 8 = 64 hours. You also take away your annual leave quota dependant on service which leaves you with the amount of hours you have to work in any given year on your published duty roster.

A re-rostered rest day cannot be put onto a card for officers to use at a time to suit them, when a rest day is re-rostered it has to be put onto the duty roster and retains all the rights of a rest day.

If your re-rostered rest day is moved to a day when you are rostered to work longer than 8 hours it follows that you owe the force those hours you haven’t worked.

The only time a rest day can be put onto an overtime card is if the officer chooses to receive time off for working the rest day, then the officer has to take off the time within 3 months of working that rest day or it reverts to payment.

In respect of a rest day being a day that is not the case. Annex H Determination for Police Regulations 24 & 26 tells us that a rest day is to be paid at 3/64 for every 15 minutes worked which means a rest day is 8 hours duration (96/64 = 8 hours at 1 ½ ).

For officers working a VSA Annex E Determination for Police Regulation 22 tells us that officers working full time shall get the equivalent 2 rest days per week and a day’s leave for each PHL, the same as officers working a normal daily period of 8 hours. Effectively this means all officers should have a minimum of 104 rest days per year but officers working a VSA will have more.

If a re-rostered rest day is moved to a day which is less than 8 hours duration then the force owe the officer the difference in hours taken off for the rest day.

In respect of a day being a day, Annex H Determination 3) e) is telling us that the Chief Constable sets the start time of a day for a period of 24 hours. Generally in the West Midlands the start time is 7 AM.

The same principal applies on a PHL. When a shift pattern is drawn up the PHLs will be overlaid onto the rota, so if a PHL falls on a day when rostered to work a 9 hour shift you will have to work the extra hour somewhere else to make your total hours back up to 2016. This is to make up the shortfall between PHL leave and your rostered shift hours for that day.

Q I was kept on duty and worked into a day that was scheduled for annual leave what can I claim?

A Working into annual leave is not contained in either Reg 25 (overtime) or Reg 26 (PHL/Rest Day) of police regulation & determinations, so it is not classified as overtime. Regulation 33 (Annex OO) does state that it is compensation for being recalled to duty. It is also applicable for officers required to work on an Annual Leave day as well , therefore covering the retained on duty scenario.

Once the recall from annual leave has been compensated, the day reverts to whatever the rostered duty was (eg 07:00-16:00, 10:00-18:00, Rest Day) that was booked off. At this point, Reg 25 & 26 come into play and any overtime that would normally be payable is payable. 

So for example an officer is retained on duty until 08:00 hours off nights having booked 1 days annual leave for the following nights tour of duty, which is then attached to 2 or more rest days, TOIL, PHL or free days. In this case of the officer, would receive compensation of a day back plus a day’s pay at double time (9 hours because it was a 9 hour shift the officer had booked off). 

Now it gets confusing, because the officer had the annual leave day cancelled by working into it, the officer has to work the 9 hours but because he only worked 1 hour he/she owes the force 8 hours . This could be sorted by just returning the 1 hour the officer had worked back onto his/her annual leave.

Q I've been detained on duty and had to buy a meal what can I claim?

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

An officer has to be retained on duty in excess of 2 hours past his normal finish time to claim this allowance.

Q I'm having to attend a police residential training course what can I claim?

A Incidental Expenses Allowance for those Attending Residential Training Courses

At the Police Negotiating Board meeting on 9 February 2005, it was agreed that the incidental expenses allowance for those attending residential training courses should be frozen at its current level of £4.43 per night. The maximum allowance is £17.77 per week, except where an officer has to attend for a week’s course of training on the preceding Sunday night and will therefore be in attendance for five nights.

Q I'm not working at my normal parade station can I claim a meal as I dont know if there is a fridge there for me to put my sandwiches?

A If an officer is unable to obtain a meal in their usual manner and as a result it costs the officer more money, then the officer can claim the difference between what he/she normally pays and the cost of the replacement meal.

There is no distinction between an officer being on a scheduled tour of duty or being required to work on a rest day. It all hinges around being able to obtain a meal in their normal manner. If they can’t then they can claim.

So for example if the officer normally takes sandwiches to work, they are placed in the fridge on arrival at work and then the officer is detained away from the station due to operational requirements and is unable to eat the sandwiches then the officer could obtain a replacement meal and deduct the cost of the original meal when submitting a claim.

In respect of officers having to remain on duty past their normal daily period of duty, (those officers who have been placed on 12 hours) once the officer goes beyond 2 hours of their normal scheduled tour of duty they are entitled to claim for a meal they then obtain, this must be reasonable and backed by a receipt.

In conclusion unless the officers can show they were unable to obtain a meal in their normal manner and have deducted the cost of that meal from the replacement meal the claim will fail.

The Heads of Agreement set the level of meal expenditure for officers not to exceed, £6.00 for Breakfast, £7.50 Lunch & £10.00 for Dinner.