Do I Have To Be Given Twenty-Eight Days’ Notice That I Am Being Posted?
No. The twenty-eight day rule is a myth. It stems from an old version of the Regulations wherein the compensation for a cancelled rest day was less than twenty-eight days’ notice – it is now fifteen days.
How Much Notice Must I Be Given Of A Posting?
Technically, none. We are a disciplined organisation and we have to serve wherever the chief constable sees fit. If you are B shift at Harlow today, you can be posted to D shift at Harwich tomorrow (subject to the 35-mile rule). However, being posted does not cut across the provisions of Regulation 22 (the publication of duty rosters). Once the duty roster has been published, your rest days are set in stone and may only be varied owing to the exigencies of duty (see definition in the rest days FAQ).
If you are posted with more than fifteen clear days’ notice, you will adopt the rest day pattern at your new station as of day one in your new post.
If you are required to move with less than fifteen clear days’ notice, the arrangements for cancelled rest days (see that FAQ) will activate – unless the rest days are honoured. This means you might have moved from Harlow B to Harwich D but still be on the B rest days. This is complicated for RMUs, as they need to make sure you have no more nor less than your due rest days over the reference period. It would thus be unusual to move so quickly.
If you were posted from Clacton to Saffron Walden and stayed on the same shift pattern, you could be posted with no notice at all.
I Have A Flexible Working Agreement – What Do I Do?
There is a weakness in force policy around flexible working. There is a lot of detail about how to apply and how to appeal against a rejection, but there is next to nothing about reviews, or the occasions when the job changes its mind (four to five times per year in Central).
The advice from Essex Police’s own Diversity Unit is that you should have three to four months’ notice of an imposed change to your flexible working agreement.
If you find yourself under pressure to vary your arrangements, contact your local Federation representative urgently – but don’t panic. Managers can display huge insensitivity over flexible working, usually born of an ‘action this day’ mentality. They usually get back into their boxes when slapped around by HR at HQ.
Can I Refuse A Posting?
Essex Police has adopted a policy to the effect that no officer will be posted more than thirty-five miles from his or her home by the shortest route.
This is a policy, not law, and can thus be changed. If you are informed that you are to be posted a long way from where you live, use AA Route Planner to work out the distance. If it is more than thirty-five miles, point this out to management. If less, you’re posted.
There are very few circumstances in which you would be able to argue against being posted – you can’t refuse. In the main, these will be welfare matters. For example, you may be on a flexible working contract and need to be close to a child’s school or the child minder. A move a long way away – even with the flexible working pattern honoured – may mean that you are now out of sync with collecting your children. Don’t panic. Talk to management reasonably and take advice from your local Federation representative.