Rest Days


This section covers everything to do with rest days, including what happens if they are cancelled, moved, reallocated, or reinstated. Unless otherwise stated, all legal references are to the Police Regulations 2003 Amended.

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Regs state that you must be notified of the "requirement to do a duty". That does not include the requirement to tell you the start and expected finish times. Good practice would be that duties do this as a matter of course but there may be occassions where that is not possibel e.g. the Royal Wedding. The important question to be asked is did you "receive" the notification. You should be activley told and normal practice is by way of the Change of Duty Notification CODN). Simply changing your roster on DMS would not be sufficient.

Policy is quite clear - No officer will work a rest day or rest day in lieu voluntarily without the prior approval of the RMU The RMU will decide whether to approve the officer working based on operational need (in consultation with the relevant commander/department head as necessary), the resources available and Working Time Regulations. Approval will be notified by e-mail. Any rest day or rest day in lieu worked voluntarily without prior approval will not be re-allocated. 

When you use the SSTO system to book annual leave you may be offered to "protect" your Rest Days. The status of rest days are determined in Regulations and are not altered by them being "protected". By "protecting" your RD however indicates that you are less likely to be recalled to duty by the Force than someone who has not "protected" the same RD.

If you are told with less than fifteen clear days’ notice that you have to work on a rest day, you can claim a maximum of half an hour travelling time at each end of the tour of duty up to a maximum overtime claim of six hours. If you work seven, eight, or more hours, you may not claim travelling time.

Effectively, the only time you can claim travelling time is where you work four or five hours of overtime on a cancelled rest day.

You cannot claim mileage (casula/essential rates) for as cancelled rest day.

If it is a cancelled rest day you are required to work owing to the exigencies of duty so, once the exigency is over, there should be no reason for you to remain at work.The Force must be able  to send officers home once the exigency is over. Officers have no right to work eight hours on a cancelled rest day.

The concept of cancelling an officer's rest day in the full knowledge that they will only be required for 4 hours or less is a poor use of resoures and has a detrimental effect on the work /life balance.

 This is pertinent where the officer receives such notice of the cancellation that s/he will receive compensation in the form of overtime at time and a half. If they work four hours, they may only reckon six hours should they wish to take time off and will not be able to book an alternative whole day off.

If it is a cancelled rest day, you are being compensated with overtime for being required to work on a rostered rest day, it is still a rest day. You are therefore required to work owing to the exigencies of duty so, once the exigency is over, there should be no reason for you to remain at work. You should be allowed to go home and enjoy what is left of the rest day.

For example an officer who is warned for court on a rest day with less than fifteen days’ notice. The court is over after one hour. We would argue that the officer is entitled to go home immediately, while reckoning the minimum four hours. The officer may not be compelled to remain on duty for four hours.

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 clear 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 PNB 85/9.

If your rest day is cancelled with more than fifteen clear days’ notice, it will have been reallocated. If you receive more than seven clear days’ notice talk to your Resource Manager. 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, 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.

There is no formal agreement on this issue however in 1993 PNB issued an Advisory Circular (not binding on Forces) , 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.

It has long been the practice in Thames Valley Police to adhere to this advice and for the benefit of the Force and individual to negotiate a mutually agreed solution. Recent guidance issued by the Force encourages officer to make early contact with Resource Teams or in any case within 14 days of notification.

If you are required to work on a rest day with more than 15 clear days’ notice and you are thus entitled to another day in lieu, there is no question of having to take TOIL  in order to take off a ten hour day, eight hours for an eight hour day or five hours for a short shift. A rest day is always a period of 24 hours:

Annex H 3) e)

In this paragraph, "day" in relation to members of a police force, means a period of 24 hours commencing at such time or times as the chief officer shall fix and the chief officer may fix different times in relation to different groups of members;


There is an inherent problem with a duty management system that obliges us to calculate time owing in hours. A rest day is a day – not hours. If the Regulations are followed properly, and a rest day is reallocated, it is reallocated to another day in its entirety.  A day is a day, not a period of eight hours.

If the notification is received with less than 15 days clear notice 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. Remember the choice of payment or time off is yours.

If you are on nights and you are retained on duty past the start time of the next working day (0700 hours) and into a rest day, you are compensated at time and a 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 a 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 minut

With less than 3 months the duty roster has been ‘published.’

The first question is, have you had more than fifteen days clear notice? 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 notified.

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. The day must not be placed on a card for later. 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 inform your line manager and submit a report or notify your local Federation representative.

The day must be reallocated to another day within 3 months of the cancelled day. It is an accepted practice and encouraged that officers can negotiate with duty planners to reallocate the day to a mutually agreed 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. 

In TVP duties are published on a ongoing basis so in effect anything on the system further ahead than three months is merely for guidance. No reason is therfore required to enable to the Force to change a rest day if it is more than 3 months in advance.

For example if you are told in January that a rest day you thought you were to have in June 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.

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

  • where less than fifteen days’ notice is received - time and one half;
  • in any other case - another rest day which should be notified to the officer within four days of notification of the requirement to work and reallocated to a date within 3 months as per Regulations.

If the period of duty carried out on the rest day is less than four hours, the appropriate allowance will be paid for a minimum of four hours.

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.

If you are required to work on a RD and this duty includes working then into a second RD, then minimum 4 hours applies for the second day also.

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 (CODN) does not constitute cancellation of a rest day. It has been agreed that the e-mail must have been read or a reasonable expectation that the officer has had access to their e-mail. An officer may be on a rest day, annual leave, sick, or a course and unable to read emails. Resource Teams should ideally ensure that cancellation of rest days is carried out in person or by telephone in addition to the CODN.


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