Annual Leave

Entitlements

Length Of Service Annual Leave
Less than 2 years’ relevant service 22
2 or more years’ relevant service 25
5 or more years’ relevant service 25
10 or more years’ relevant service 27
15 or more years relevant service 28
20 or more years relevant service 30

 

Right To Carry Forward Leave To The Next Year And To Bring Forward Leave

This comes from Annex O

3) In the case of a member of a police force of a rank not higher than that of chief superintendent, the chief officer of police may, in his discretion and subject to the exigencies of duty –

a) notwithstanding anything in paragraphs (1) and (2),where he is satisfied that, in any leave year, the member has not taken the full period of annual leave specified in those paragraphs, grant the member, during the following leave year, additional days of annual leave not exceeding the number of days not taken, so however that he shall not exercise his discretion so as to grant more than 5 additional days of annual leave to a member unless he is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances and that it is in the interests of efficiency to do so;

b) grant the member not more than 5 additional days of annual leave, to be taken in the last month of the leave year, subject to a corresponding reduction being effected in the member’s period of annual leave under paragraph (1) for the following year.

This is straightforward. If an officer has been unable to take all of his/her leave allocation in the year to end 31st March, s/he may apply to carry forward up to five days. In practice, this is automatic. However, should the number of unused days be more than five the officer will need to account for why they have not been taken and, probably, specify when s/he wants to take them within the first few months of the next year.

If you find yourself short of leave, you can apply to bring forward up to five days from the next annual leave year. However, you can only bring them forward into March. There will have to be good reasons.

Working On Annual Leave

To understand the compensation arrangements for being required to work on such a day, one needs to understand that annual leave is a precious thing in the context of policing. Officers have all sorts of restrictions placed upon their private lives. We can be recalled to duty at any time and, until comparatively recently, it was a conduct offence to be unfit for duty due to drink – including on a rest day. Indeed, there was a time when it was a conduct offence to not be at home resting on a rest day, and the Sergeant would call round to make sure you were at home! Leave was the only time you could go away. Recalling an officer to duty from a period of annual leave is a serious thing and it should never be done lightly.

However, “leave” is a day upon which an officer is paid, but given ‘leave’ not to come to work.

The following scale of compensation applies where an officer is recalled to duty from a period of absence from duty of five or more days (of which at least one day is annual leave):

Annual Leave Days Worked Compensation In Additional Days (Or Annual Leave Plus Pay)
1 2 days (or 1 days annual leave plus 1 days pay at double time).
2 4 days (or 2 days annual leave plus 2 days pay at double time).
Thereafter 1.5 days (or 1 days annual leave plus 0.5 days pay at double time) for each further annual leave day worked.

If the period of absence includes rostered rest days, days in lieu of overtime, or public holidays, compensation for working on those days (or time off in lieu) would be according to the relevant regulation.

This means that you have to be away for at least five days, but only one of those days has to be annual leave. As an example, if you book one or two annual leave days as an ‘island’ within a period of working days, and you are required to work on one of them, the only compensation you receive is a plain day of annual leave back. If you have a block of 3 rest days, and you tack 2 annual leave days on, you now have the minimum of five days. If you are recalled for the annual leave day, you are compensated as in the table. It does not matter what the day should have been they are all now part of your leave.

Regulation 33 (Annex O) currently restricts the above compensation to circumstances where a member is absent and then recalled. PNB Circular 03/15 records a further PNB agreement that this compensation should apply also to the cancellation of pre-booked, scheduled annual leave.

It has been brought to the PNB’s attention that some forces are having difficulty in interpreting this aspect of the PNB agreement. To clarify, the Sides wish to draw attention to the fact that the compensation agreed applies not only to officers actually recalled from annual leave, but also to pre-booked, scheduled annual leave.

The Sides agree that the determination in Annex O will need further amendment to fully reflect the PNB agreement.

Amendment provisions are awaited – and so far, it has been seven years as I write.

The effect of this is that if you book annual leave for dates in the future, and then something occurs that requires you to work, you are compensated at the rates in the table.

I Worked Into An Annual Leave Day From The Night Before

In an ideal world, if an officer books leave immediately following a rostered night shift, the RMU will adjust the duties so that it becomes a Late Turn or Half-Night. However, if you find yourself working past 06.00hrs. into a booked annual leave day, the section on Working on Annual Leave should be followed.

There is no first hour rule as there is with working into a rest day. The moment you pass 06.00, the appropriate compensation applies.

Where there is uncertainty, and no clear answer, is what happens if the annual leave day is not part of a run of three days off? If you have booked a single day, the compensation described above does not apply. It is not a rest day, so that compensation does not apply either. There is no minimum four hours. We believe that you book overtime at time and one third, with no disregard of the first half hour, for only as long as you are on duty.

If you are reading this, it has probably already happened to you and, particularly if you have found out that your compensation is minimal because you did not have the threshold of three days off to trigger the compensation, you are not happy. We hope that the anomaly will be resolved but, to prevent it happening to you again, we suggest that you ensure you are not on a night shift before annual leave.

My Holiday Was Ruined. What Can I Reclaim?

The Regulations are silent on what happens about the other costs inherent in having annual leave cancelled. The Federation hopes that management will take a sensible and pragmatic approach to such situations. For example, if you are abroad with your family and you all have to come back, we will expect Essex Police to pay for the flights, unless your holiday insurance covers you. We will expect lost deposits and insurance excesses to be reimbursed.

If you find yourself in such a situation, ensure you obtain receipts for all additional expense and contact your local Federation representative. You will not get any compensation for the inconvenience, apart from the additional leave or pay shown in the table.

If you have had to return for court, and your leave was advised via the witness availability calendar, speak to the Crown Prosecutor and enquire about your costs being considered by the court.

Sickness Whilst On Leave

This is current Essex Police policy:

An officer who is unfit for duty through sickness whilst on a period of annual leave or overtime taken off, must obtain a medical certificate. The remainder of that period of annual leave or time off will be cancelled from the first day of such certificated sickness.

If a charge is made for the issue of a private medical certificate, reimbursement may be claimed on Form GC70 Gold together with a covering report (Form A57).

Sickness Whilst On Leave Abroad

Should an officer become sick or be injured whilst on leave outside the UK to the extent that s/he would not be fit for duty, the officer should contact the Force immediately. The untaken leave can only be cancelled from the day of reporting and cannot be claimed retrospectively, except in special circumstances.

NHS certification does not operate outside the United Kingdom. Certification for sick pay purposes should be sought immediately on return to the UK.

Annual leave can be re-rostered. Rostered rest days lost through sickness cannot be reclaimed.

Upon your return to duty, make an application via an A57 to have your leave reinstated as per the policy quoted above.

What Happens To My Annual Leave If I Am On Sick Leave?

While you are on sick leave, you still accrue annual leave. A problem that affects some officers occurs when they are sick for a long time and pass into a new leave year with many more than the five days they are ordinarily allowed to carry forward.

PNB Circular 8 of 1971 (still valid) offers this advice to chief officers:

Where annual leave is foregone as a consequence of injury sustained in the course of duty it is considered reasonable for the carry-over provisions in Police Regulations to apply. Clearly the merits of particular cases will vary widely; for example, according to the amount of both annual leave and sick leave which has been taken before the end of the leave year in which the entitlement to annual leave arises. For this reason, there is no wish (on PNB’s part) to limit the discretion of chief officers under the Regulation.

Our advice is to submit a report to your line manager and ask to carry forward your entire untaken leave. Set out in detail the reasons for, and dates of, your absence; include what you had taken before you became ill and set out a plan for when you will take off the days you want to bring forward.

There is a draft policy being written that will allow all leave that could not be taken due to sickness to be carried forward. This FAQ will be amended when it is in published.

Compensation For Annual Leave Not Taken On Leaving The Service

If, on termination of service, the proportion of annual leave taken by an officer in the last year of service is less than the proportion of the leave year that has passed, he/she is entitled to payment in lieu of the untaken days.

Conversely if, on termination of service, the proportion of annual leave taken by the officer exceeds that proportion of the leave year which has expired, the police authority are entitled to compensation, whether by payment, additional service, or otherwise.

How Much Leave Can I Take In The Summer?

POLICE COUNCIL CIRCULAR 4/74: SUMMER LEAVE

While it is ultimately for the chief officer to decide, officers should, if possible, be able to take two weeks of their annual leave between 1 June and 30 September, if they so wish.

This is the current Essex Police policy:

The general principle is that 12.5% (1 in 8) of each rank should be allowed to take annual leave at the same time (excluding the overlap at weekends). The method of allocation will be at the discretion of Divisional/Departmental Commanders, after having regard to the wishes of all concerned. In the case of CID officers the 12.5% will apply to the total strength of the Section/Department.

Annual leave may be granted during the Christmas Holidays subject to all officers having a reasonable period of relaxation.

Once upon a time, there was an annual leave list. It circulated in a shift (when they were large enough), or a station, and officers booked the summer leave they wanted in slots. There were only as many slots available at any one time as would allow no more than 12.5% of the officers to be away simultaneously. There was an agreement that the people who had first pick were those who were married to other officers (I am talking about a time before Civil Partnerships) and who had children. The pecking order descended to the pimply probationer living at home with mum. He had last choice. This worked. Then someone somewhere (probably the pimply probationer) said that this was discriminatory. There is now a free-for-all and people argue over when they can have their leave.

The Federation wishes that common sense would prevail, mixed with some discipline and good order, and that the annual leave list be restored. This would also help with advance planning and, we believe, stop the blanket banning of leave because there may be a support call sometime in August!