Overtime for constables and sergeants is potentially payable (or time off in lieu may be taken) when an officer:

  • remains on duty after his/her tour of duty ends,
  • is recalled between two tours of duty, or
  • is required to begin earlier than the rostered time without due notice, and on a day s/he has already completed her/his normal daily period of duty.

Inspectors and above never receive ‘overtime’ in any circumstances.

The provisions fully explaining overtime can be found at Regulation 25 and Annex G.

Generally speaking no, as the rate is the same. However, overtime for payment is paid for every completed 15 minutes, while overtime for TOIL is for every completed 45 minutes. You may also have to disregard the first 30 mins of casual overtime.

If you have already completed your tour of duty for the day but are called back to work an "island of duty"  between the last and your next shift you may claim time and a third for the hours worked and 30 mins travelling each way plus mileage.

e.g. Normal Tour 8-4. You are called back to work 6-8pm. Claim is 2hrs pls 30 mins travelling each way - total 3 hours time & a third. You return to work for your normal shift the next day at 8am.

This term applies where officers are informed that they will be required to remain on duty after the tour ends.

On each of the first four occasions in any week* when you work 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 you choose time off in lieu of paid overtime. Thus, if you work two hours of casual overtime, you book an hour and a half or 6 units.

* A week is defined in the Regulations as a period of seven days beginning with such day as is fixed by the chief officer. In Thames Valley Police, the week starts on a Monday.

If you work overtime after hours on your scheduled tour of duty, it is classed as overtime and you cannot claim overtime for the first 30 minutes worked.

For example, if your tour of duty is 14.30 x 22.30, you cannot claim overtime until 23.00. Any overtime you claim after that is at time and a third, for payment, or if you wish to claim time off, for the overtime, then for every completed 15 minutes, you are entitled to claim 1 unit and for every 3 units you work, you are given 1 bonus unit.


If you work overtime on 4 occasions during the same week then on the 5th and any other occasion in which you may have to work overtime you no longer lose the first half hour for the rest of that week.

If you are required to work over following a night shift and this is going into you rest day, you are entitled to claim 1 hour overtime at time and a half for the 1st hour. After that hour if you still have to remain on duty you will get a minimum of 4 hours at time and a half even if the period of overtime is less than 4 hours. You do not lose the 1st half an hour.

This is known as an "Advancement of the Day".

Where the time at which an officer is due to commence a rostered tour of duty is brought forward without due notice (less than 8 hours) so that they are required to commence duty on a day in which they have already completed their normal period of duty. The time for which they are on duty before the rostered commencement time shall be reckonable as overtime and also taken into account as part of that tour of duty. The force day commences at 7 A.M.

If the day were a rest day, then the overtime would be at time and a half for a minimum of 4 hours.

If you are given more than 8 hours notice of the duty change then your working day merely starts at the new time.

The Chief Officer shall cause to be published duty rosters for members of his/her force after full consultation with the Joint Branch Board at intervals not exceeding 12 months and not later than 1 month before the date in which it starts. Each roster will set out for at least 3 months the following:

• His/her rest days.

• Public Holidays in which he/she may be required to do duty on.

• The time at which his/her scheduled daily period of duty begins & end.

• For part time members his/her free days.

• Intervals of at least 11 hours between the end and the beginning of the next shift.

• An interval between rostered rest days not exceeding 7 days.

Where alterations are made to an annual duty roster after its publication these changes must arise from the exigencies of duty (unless they are made at the officer’s own request or have otherwise been agreed with the joint branch board). The term exigencies of duty, should be interpreted as relating to situations where a pressing demand, need or requirement is perceived that is not reasonably avoidable and necessitates a change of roster. In this context the word, pressing, relates to the expected situation at the time when the duty is to be performed rather than the time when the duty roster is changed, i.e. the reasons for a change may be known many months in advance but still be pressing.

Changes to rosters should only be made after full consideration of welfare, operational and practical circumstances rather than purely on financial grounds. Because rosters are produced annually a number of unforeseen reasons for changes may subsequently arise. It is clearly not possible to produce an exhaustive list of all of the potential reasons, which may necessitate changes. However, by way of example, unforeseen public order situations, court attendance and essential training would justify changes to rostered duties. An officer should be told as soon as the requirement for the change is known and at the latest, by midnight on the calendar day before the changed period of duty commences.

No. When you work overtime, it is your choice whether you are paid or take time off.

Every now and again, we receive a call from an officer who states that a manager has requested overtime to be carried out saying that the budget has run out and there will be no paid overtime. If there is no budget then they can find someone else to deal with the job. The Police Regulations stipulate that you have a choice between payment and time off. If management refuse to pay you, they are breaking the law and render themselves liable to discipline.

Remember that the time off is at the same rate as the overtime. If you have reckoned 6 units it becomes 8, meaning you can take two hours as Time Off In Lieu of overtime.

Unfortunately, you get no compensation for this. You just get the time back.


Maybe. The only time this normally happens is if you are officially on-call for something, and you receive a telephone call about the matter for which you are on call. This is classified as a recall to duty and you may reckon a minimum of four hours overtime at the appropriate rate for the sort of day it is (rest day or public holiday: double time). The minimum 4 hours do not apply if it is a normal working day where the compensation is time & a third for the actual hours worked. To qualify for it to be a recall to duty you need to do more than just receive information but to actively engage in following up the call with delegation, instruction or decision making of some kind. Simply receiving a call from work in itself is not enough.

NB. The Federation does not believe that any officer should be on-call on a rest day or public holiday, but it happens.

The authority for this derives from the case of Lavelle v Chief Constable of Northumbria, which was about a Police Search Advisor. The Judge said,

“In the first place it is necessary to see whether on a particular occasion the Claimant was doing something he was required to perform. If he was, it matters not that he does not receive a specific instruction, "you are recalled to duty.” He is being recalled to his duty by the fact of the call upon him at a time when it is his duty to respond. For that reason, I would distinguish those occasions when the Claimant was not actually rostered as on-call. On those occasions, he could, if approached for help, do as he did on one occasion and refer the enquiry to someone who was. If on those occasions he took the call, he was strictly, it seems to me a volunteer doing what he did as a matter of goodwill and no doubt because it would reflect well upon him that he did it.

“Second, I do not think that there would be a recall to duty if the Claimant did not engage in some way with the call in a way that amounted to a performance of his duty as a Police Search Adviser. Even on occasions when he was rostered, if the result of answering the call was simply to deflect it in some way, because there had been a mistake in calling upon him or the call was about something which was outwith his particular expertise, or for some other similar reason, it would not seem to me he was recalled to his duty. But if he engaged with the enquiry and dealt with it within the scope of his duty as a Police Search Adviser, it seems to me that it falls within the Regulations as a recall."

The judgement makes clear that if the officer was on-call, but contacted about something that had nothing to do with him/her being the on-call Police Search Advisor, it did not constitute a recall to duty.

If you are called about a court warning, duty change, or anything else work-related, you are not being recalled to duty and there is no overtime claim. However, the telephone conversation (on-call or not) does constitute working time and should be recorded as such.

A recent case involving Devon & Cornwall Chiss Handlers is another authority. Please contact the office for more details.

There are no Regulations or PNB Agreements covering this issue. It is generally accepted that 'off duty' officers place themselves 'on duty' when acting in purported performance of their duties as constables, all officers will be regarded as being 'on duty' and thus be afforded the protection that such a state entails. If in so doing, however, they commit any illegal act(s) the position becomes less clear and it could well be held that they are not acting in execution of their duty.

There is sometimes a discussion to be had about whether the officer did any more than a member of the public would have done in the same circumstances. Police officers are in an interesting position because we do not really have the option to walk on by and ignore a situation requiring an intervention. Managers being asked to authorise overtime for what an officer did off duty should consider how they would respond to a complaint that an off-duty officer did not act. Would the manager be considering misconduct for neglect of duty? We suggest that in most cases there will be a valid claim.

If this has happened to you or to an officer you supervise, talk it through and exercise common sense and fairness on both sides.

If you are required to work over following a night shift and this is going into you rest day, you are entitled to claim 1 hour overtime at time and a half for the 1st hour. After that hour if you still have to remain on duty you will get a minimum of 4 hours at time and a half even if the period of overtime is less than 4 hours. You do not lose the 1st half an hour.


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