LIMITED (Adjusted) DUTIES
Below is some background information in relation to the introduction of Limited Duties. This is a complicated area and you should seek advice of your local Rep. Individual circumstances will have a significant impact on how this applies to officers.
For a comprehensive FAQ please click HERE.
As notified on 3 March 2015, Regulations were due to be laid in Parliament on 5 March 2015 to come into effect on 1 April 2015 setting out the powers of the Home Secretary to determine the circumstances when a member of a police force may be placed on limited duties (regulation 22) and the entitlement to pay when on adjusted duties (regulation 28A) - Police (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/455).
Home Office circular 10/2015 has now been issued, which includes the Guidance & publishes Annex EE of Regulation 22 and 28A. The determination sets out the circumstances in which a member of a police force may be placed on limited duties and the circumstances in which an element of pay may be deducted during periods when a member is carrying out adjusted duties. This will come into effect on 1 May 2015.
Given the complexity of this issue and the need for future monitoring of the equalities impact in forces, the Home Office has set a review date for the determination. This will be set for 18 months after the determination comes into effect.
PFEW made a number of detailed comments on the draft determination and the supporting guidance in an attempt to make them both as robust and clear as possible given that the determination covers the withholding of pay from members, and that we are concerned that almost every case will involve potential disability discrimination. Unfortunately, there are still areas that lack clarity and which may cause confusion and uncertainty for members. Much will now depend on how forces implement these arrangements. Whilst the determination and the accompanying guidance sets out the key principles that forces should adhere to in implementing these measures; the Home Office and Chief Constables have been clear that some elements will be left to forces to design a process that works for them.
With effect from 1 May 2015 there will be three categories of Limited Duties:
Management restricted duties
Recuperative and adjusted duties definitions cover officers who are ill, injured or have restrictions to deployment applied for medical reasons. Officers on management restricted duties are excluded from the scope of these arrangements.
Officers who are pregnant or are breastfeeding are also excluded from the scope of these arrangements if any temporary limitations to their deployability are related to their pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Officers who are currently categorised as being on ‘restricted duties’ for whatever reason must not be automatically transferred to the new category of adjusted duties. The process outlined in the interim guidance must be followed before a decision is taken as to whether such officers are placed on limited duties.
Police officers are covered by the Equality Act 2010; disability is one of the protected characteristics which place a duty on employers to consider and make adjustments where reasonable. The law does not require employers to continue to employ people for whom adjustments cannot be made or where such adjustments that can be made are not sufficiently effective. However, large employers such as police forces will need to demonstrate that they have considered all reasonable adjustments in the context of operational resilience.
Forces should first develop a clear understanding of the level of operational demand for and the capabilities required in all roles in order for the force as a whole to fulfil its operational demands. It has been left to forces to determine how this should be done but the best approach will involve a force level process that is open, transparent and fair. PFEW expects forces to carry out a force wide assessment of deployment requirements and the range of capability needed for each role in the Force in order to meet operational demand. This assessment will need to identify:
The level of demand/operational requirement, including contingency for periods of exceptional demand and to meet statutory requirements under the Strategic Policing Requirement;
The resources needed to meet that demand including the number of fully deployable officers; and
Which officers are deployable, for what range of duties, at what times.
Only then will forces be able to match individual officers to posts.
Officers can only be allocated to adjusted duties, which are defined as duties falling short of full deployment, if ‘workplace adjustments’ have been made, s/he is attending work on a regular basis and is working the hours for which s/he is paid. An officer, who is working reduced hours during a recuperation period, is undergoing a phased return to work, is on sick leave or is under formal measures to deal with poor attendance should not be put on adjusted duties. Additionally, some officers with disabilities will be fully deployable and should also not be placed on adjusted duties.
If it is decided to place an officer on to adjusted duties, there will be a formal management review 12 months after having been on placed on adjusted duties and on an annual basis thereafter.
If, as a result of the management review, it is decided that an officer should remain on adjusted duties a further outcome of the management review will be a recommendation as to whether the officer should retain the X-factor component of pay. The decision to deduct an element of pay is not automatic: there is a right of appeal, and Chief Constables have discretion over whether to apply a reduction in pay in every case. All cases must be considered individually taking into account relevant facts and circumstances of each. CC Francis Habgood has announced that there will be no reduction of the X factor from Adjusted Duties officers pay this year (those being reviewed Oct 2016).
Discussions are still continuing within PAB with regards to the proposal to amend the Police (Performance) Regulations. We will keep you updated on these discussions as they progress.