Rest Days

Regulation 33

(1) Every member of a police force shall, so far as the exigencies of duty permit, be granted in each leave year such annual leave as may be determined by the Secretary of State; and in this regulation “leave year” means that period of 12 months beginning on such date as may from time to time be determined by the police authority. (In Essex, this is the year starting on 1st April).

(2) In making a determination under paragraph (1) the Secretary of State may confer on the chief officer discretion –

(a) to grant such additional days of annual leave in any leave year in such circumstances and subject to such conditions as the Secretary of State may determine, and

(b) subject to such conditions as the Secretary of State may determine, to allow days of annual leave granted under this regulation to be taken as a single period, or as single days, or in periods of more than one day or as half days.

(3) In a determination under paragraph (1) the Secretary of State shall make provision for the compensation of a member of a police force for being recalled to duty during a period of annual leave granted under this regulation.

(4) Annual leave granted under this regulation shall be additional to the days on which the member is not required to perform police duties in accordance with a determination under regulation 26.(Regulation 26 is public holidays).

Compensation For Duty On A Rostered Rest Day

Where Constables and Sergeants are required to do duty on a rostered rest day they are entitled to:

  • where less than 15 days’ notice is received – time and one half;
  • (Less than 5 days notice was removed as a result of Winsor 1 – April 2012)
  • in any other case – another rest day which should be notified to the officer within four days of notification of the requirement to work.

If the period of duty carried out on the cancelled rest day is less than four hours, the appropriate allowance will be paid for a minimum of four hours. (This is only for the duty worked with less than 15 days notice)

Where the officer is retained on duty from a rostered duty into a rest day, and the period worked on the rest day is less than one hour, 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 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 officer is required to do duty.

The sending of an email does not constitute cancellation of a rest day, unless it is read. An officer may be on a rest day, leave, sick, or a course and unable to read emails. If s/he has not seen the email, management cannot claim that the officer has been warned.

More Than Four Months In The Future

The first question is, “When is the rest day?” Under Regulation 22 Annex E, the chief officer has to publish a duty roster for Constables, Sergeants, and part time members of the Inspecting ranks. The minimum period the roster must last is three months and the officers have to be given one month’s notice of when the roster starts. Effectively, most police officers should have four months of their duties published.

In Essex, all duties are on the Duty Management System (DMS). The Joint Branch Board has agreed with Essex Police that the duty roster the chief officer must publish is a rolling four months of duties on DMS. Anything on the system further ahead than four months is merely for guidance.

Thus if you are told in January that a rest day you thought you were to have in August is being changed, it is not really a rest day yet because the roster has not been ‘published.’ If you want to guarantee being off on a particular day more than four months hence, you should apply for annual leave. When the roster is published, the CRMU will need to ensure you receive the appropriate number of rest days and you can negotiate with them over when it will fall.

Less Than Four Months In The Future

We now turn to where the duty roster has been ‘published.’ When we calculate the compensation for being required to work on a rest day, you do not count the day you will have to work, or the day you were told.

In the first instance, have you had more than fifteen days’ clear notice?

If the answer is ‘yes,’ within four days of being told you have to work you HAVE to be told when the day is being reallocated to. This is the law. It is under Annex H 1) a) ii). However, if you do not receive notification of when your replacement rest day will occur, you cannot claim overtime or refuse to do the duty. What you should do is to submit a report to your immediate supervisor pointing out that the law has been broken and that a failure to comply with the Regulations is a conduct matter. It will not take many of such reports before your managers take the hint. Please copy your report to your local Federation representative.

Do I Have Any Say In When That Day Will Be Reallocated To? Must The Reallocated Day Be ‘Like-For-Like’?

No. The Staff Side of the PNB has tried to obtain this right without success. The PNB issued an Advisory Circular (not binding on Forces) in 1993, which contained the following:

Despite the lack of agreement on this subject the two Sides of Committee C believe it is appropriate to draw the matter to the attention of chief constables. They advise that where chief constables (or supervising officers acting on their behalf) consider it reasonably practicable to do so, consideration should be given to the wishes of individual officers in allocating re-rostered rest days. Chief constables and joint branch boards may consider it appropriate to discuss in force joint consultative committees local practice on the allocation of re-rostered rest days. The aim would be to ensure the best possible match between the wishes of individual officers and the most cost effective utilisation of staff.

In practice we all need to pull together to make this work. Talk to your RMU. Be reasonable. They have a rotten job and the last thing they need is a hard time.

Rest Day Cancelled With Less Than Fifteen Clear Days’ Notice

Once you have received less than fifteen days’ notice, the rest day has gone. There is no more talk of reallocation. You are compensated for having to work on a rest day at such short notice by paid overtime. However, you can choose to convert the overtime into time off. The emphasis there is you can choose.

Officers sometimes complain that they have lost the rest day and have not had enough time off. Please remember that you do not have to take the overtime as payment; you can take it as time off.

If you are told with less than fifteen days – that you have to work on a rostered rest day, you will receive overtime at the rate of time and a half. Thus, if you work for eight hours, you will be paid for twelve. If you want to take time off instead of being paid, you can take twelve hours off.

Rest Day Cancelled With Less Than Five Clear Days’ Notice

Less than 5 days notice was removed as a result of Winsor 1 (April 2012)


Working Into A Rest Day

If you are on nights and you are retained on duty past the start time of the next working day and into a rest day, you are compensated at time and one half.

However, if you are retained for less than one hour, you count the number of completed periods of fifteen minutes. This means that if you are kept on for half an hour, you should book two units of overtime at time and one half. There is no deduction of the first thirty minutes.

If you are retained for more than one hour but less than four, you may book four hours overtime.

Once you are retained beyond four hours, you book what you worked in whole periods of fifteen minutes.

I Am “Provisionally” Warned For Court. What Happens To My Rest Days?

This is another old chestnut. Either a rest day is cancelled or it isn’t. There is no such thing as a ‘provisionally cancelled rest day.’

This often occurs where an officer is warned that s/he will be required at court but the date(s) of the trial have not been finalised. When the trial is set, management try to tell the officer that they had plenty of notice that they might have to work. Nice try. Either a rest day is cancelled or it isn’t. If you are told that you may have to go to court at some stage in the next four weeks that is not notice of requirement to work on a rest day.

What Happens If My Rest Day Was Cancelled But Now I Don’t Have To Work?

This is covered by a PNB Agreement and is binding.

Where more than seven clear days’ notice is received that the officer will not be required to work on the rest day, the rest day will be taken, with no compensation.

Where seven days’ notice or less is received of the cancelled duty requirement, the officer may either choose to take the rest day or work and claim compensation in accordance with police regulations.

If your rest day is cancelled with more than clear fifteen days’ notice, it will have been reallocated. If you receive more than seven clear days’ notice talk to your RMU. You could either have the original rest day back and give up the reallocated one, or you can work as scheduled on the original rest day and take the reallocated one off.

If your rest day is cancelled with less than fifteen clear days’ notice and you are told that the reason is no longer valid (the hunt/football match/demonstration or whatever has been called off), calculate whether you have seven clear days in between the day in question and the day you are told you are no longer required. If there are seven or more, you take the day off with no overtime. If it is less than seven days, it is your choice as to whether or not you work. If you work, you are paid overtime at the appropriate rate (time and a half ) and you can either take it as payment or as time off.