Different provisions apply for members working full-time, on part time arrangements, and/or on variable shifts. The following is a summary of duty time provisions for officers working full time, who are not working variable shifts. Similar provisions apply to variable shift arrangements, though the central reference is to the rostered shift rather than the tour of duty.
For further information on part-time provisions contact the JBB.
CONSTABLES AND SERGEANTS
Normal Period of Duty
The normal daily period of duty (including an interval for refreshment of 45 minutes) is eight hours, which, as far as exigencies of duty permit will be performed in one tour.
Where a normal duty period is performed in more than one tour and the member does not travel to and from home between tours, the refreshment break should normally be included at the beginning or end of one of those tours. The refreshment break is not allowed when a member takes a half-day’s annual leave.
Travelling time treated as duty
Travelling time between the member’s home and his/her usual place of duty is generally not treated as duty time.
However where a member is required to perform the normal daily period of duty in more than one tour and travels home between tours, subject to any reasonable limit imposed by the chief officer the time occupied in travelling to and from home is treated as duty time.
When a member is recalled to duty between two tours of duty, travelling time to and from home (as a consequence of the recall) also counts as duty time, subject to any reasonable limit.
Overtime for constables and sergeants is potentially payable (or time off in lieu may be taken) when: • members remain on duty after their tour of duty ends, • they are recalled between two tours of duty, or • they are required to begin earlier than the rostered time without due notice and on a day when they have already completed their normal daily period of duty.
Where members are informed at or before the commencement of their tour that they will be required to remain on duty after the tour ends, and they work less than 15 minutes overtime, they will not be eligible for any allowance.
If they work between 15 and 30 minutes overtime, they will be paid for the first 15 minutes only.
If they work 30 or more minutes, they will eligible for overtime for each completed 15 minute period.
This term applies where members are not informed at the commencement of their tour of duty that they will be required to remain on duty after the tour ends. On each of the first four occasions in any week when they work casual overtime, not having been informed at the commencement of the tour that this would be required, the first 30 minutes of such overtime worked is disregarded in calculating the overtime allowance due. This discount applies also to equivalent time off, should they choose time off in lieu of paid overtime.
Recall to duty
If a member is recalled to duty between two rostered tours of duty, only the time worked as a result of the recall, plus travelling time to and from work attract the appropriate overtime rate. This applies to each separate period of recall.
A member is rostered to work 06.00 to 14.00 on day 1 and day 2. After completing duty on day 1 he/she is recalled at 18:00. The duty only lasts two hours, after which time he/she returns home. The member is entitled to claim two hours overtime plus overtime for relevant travelling, and may then be required to carry out normal duty on day 2.
Advancing the start of duty from the rostered time
When the commencement time of a rostered duty is brought forward without due notice so that the duty straddles the start of the force day, and the tour is begun on a day on which the member has already completed a normal rostered tour, the time worked before the rostered commencement time is reckonable as overtime, and is also taken into account as part of that tour of duty.
Assume the Force Day commences at 06.00. If the rostered tour of duty on day 2 was 06.00 – 14.00 and the member had already done a full tour on day 1 and is told at 02.00 to attend for duty at 04.00 hours on day 1 and work until 14.00 hours on day 2, he/she will be entitled to an overtime allowance at time and a third for the period 04.00 to 06.00, plain time for the period 06.00 to 12.00, and time and one third for the period 12.00 to 14.00.
Due notice for these purposes is defined in Regulation 25 as “notice given at least 8 hours before the revised starting time of the rostered tour of duty in question”.
Members should be given as much notice of the duty change as possible; and every effort should be made to ensure that notice is given before the end of the tour prior to the one that is to be changed.
Rate of payment
The overtime allowance, where payable, is time and one third, or time off in lieu can be taken. It is the member’s choice whether to take the allowance or time off in lieu.
REST DAY AND PUBLIC HOLIDAY WORKING
Compensation for duty on a rostered rest day
Where members are required to do duty on a rostered rest day they are entitled to:
- where less than 15 days’ notice is received – time and a half
- in any other case – another rest day which should be notified to the member within four days of notification of the requirement to work
If the period of duty carried out on the rest day is less than four hours, the appropriate allowance will be paid for a minimum of four hours.
Subject to any reasonable limit imposed by the chief officer, travelling time to and from duty on a rest day may also count as duty. It will not count from the point at which travelling time and the period of duty exceeds 6 hours or is less than 4 hours.
Where the member is retained on duty from a rostered duty into a rest day, and the period worked on the rest day is not more than one hour of duty, the minimum four-hour payment does not apply and the rest day time to be reimbursed counts as the number of 15 minute periods actually completed (no discount for casual overtime).
A re-rostered rest day is subject to rest day compensation in the same way as a normal rest day 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 the member is required to do duty.
Compensation for duty on a public holiday
When required to do duty on a public holiday members are entitled
- where less than eight days’ notice is received – payment of double time plus another day off in lieu, to be treated as a public holiday;
- in any other case – payment at double time.
- If the period of duty carried out on the public holiday is less than four hours, the appropriate allowance will be paid for a minimum of four hours.
Subject to any reasonable limit imposed by the chief officer, travelling time to and from duty on a public holiday may also count as duty. It will not count from the point at which travelling time and the period of duty exceeds 6 hours or is less than 4 hours.
Work in excess of 8 hours on a rest day or public holiday
Time spent on duty on a rest day or public holiday in excess of 8 hours attracts the same level of compensation as any other rest day or public holiday working.
Time off in lieu
Members may choose to take time off in lieu of any time worked on a rest day or public holiday. The amount of time off varies in accordance with the allowance payable (e.g. if the allowance is double time, the time off is double).
Reinstatement of cancelled public holidays and rest days
PNB Circulars 85/9 and 86/2 record PNB agreements relating to cancelled rest days or public holidays in anticipation of an operational need, for which in the event the member is not required to attend for duty.
Where more than seven days’ notice is received that the member will not be required to work on the rest day/public holiday, the rest day/public holiday will be taken, with no compensation.
Where seven days’ notice or less is received of the cancelled duty requirement, the member may either choose to take the rest day/public holiday or work and claim compensation in accordance with Police Regulations.
Telephone calls received whilst at home on rest day or after tour of duty
Answering the telephone does not generally constitute a recall to duty.
If a member receives a call which requires necessary action or duty to be performed, this may be a recall to duty, and the member may be eligible for appropriate compensation. This is particularly pertinent if an officer is on call and is required to take a call relating to the reason for them being on call.
INSPECTORS AND CHIEF INSPECTORS
The regulations do not require rosters to be published for full time members of the rank of Inspector and Chief Inspector. Inspectors and Chief Inspectors are neither entitled to overtime allowances nor rest day/public holiday working allowances.
However part time inspectors are hourly paid and so will receive a plain time payment for each hour they work beyond their agreed part time hours until they reach 40 hours.
Where an Inspector or Chief Inspector has been prevented from taking a day’s leave on a public holiday, or from taking two rest days in any week, within the next twelve months, subject to exigencies of duty, he/she should be granted a day’s leave in lieu of any public holiday or rest day not taken.
WORKING TIME REGULATIONS
The Working Time Regulations 1998 implement the Working Time Directive (a European Health and Safety provision) into domestic law. They are expressly stated to apply to police officers. The main rights under the Working Time Regulations are:
- a limit of an average of 48 hours a week over a reference period which a worker can be required to work (unless otherwise agreed with the individual)
- a limit on night workers’ normal hours of work of an average of 8 hours work in 24 (and no more than 8 hours in any 24 during which night work is performed if subject to special hazards or strain)
- 11 consecutive hours rest per day or compensatory rest if in exceptional circumstances rest periods are not provided
- a day off each week (24 hours per week or 48 hours per fortnight)
- an in-work rest break of at least 20 minutes if the working day is longer than 6 hours
- for leave years beginning on or after 1 April 2009, 28 days (including public holidays) paid leave per year
- free health assessments for night workers
There are various circumstances in which the rights do not apply. These are quite complicated but in essence are likely to relate to variations agreed with the JBB or unforeseen emergencies.
Generally, Police Regulations provide better rights than the Working Time Regulations. However there can be occasions where the organisation of working time may breach the Working Time Regulations. Certain aspects of the Working Time Regulations can be varied by local agreement between the JBB and the Chief Officer. For more information about the position in your force, contact the JBB office.
Some breaches can comprise criminal offences. The enforcing agency is the Health and Safety Executive. There are other rights available before an Employment Tribunal. The time limit for any such tribunal claim is generally three months less a day from the relevant breach. Contact the JBB for further information.