FAQs


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.

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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)

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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.

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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 can be claimed in Cleveland. 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.

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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 7am to 7am. Therefore, the police 'day' on Monday starts at 7am and finishes at 7am 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 7am,. 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

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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 agreement with the force is that this will happen on all occasion's )
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)

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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)

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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.

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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 for 10 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.

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10. Student Officers

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

Consult your Federation 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 Federation 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

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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 contact your federation rep or contact the JBB office.

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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)

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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 Cleveland. 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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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17. 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)

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18. 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 command 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

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19. 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.

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20. Can I be forced to use Time Off in Lieu that I have accrued

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 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.

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90 Days Due Notice