Protocols for variable shift arrangements 2007 update (Visit our downloads page to obtain a PDF version of this document)

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

1

N

N

N

N

RD

RD

RD

2

A

A

A

RD

RD

E

E

3

E

E

RD

RD

N

N

N

4

RD

RD

RD

A

A

A

A

5

RD

RD

E

E

E

RD

RD

 

Item Proposal

1    Force shift protocols provide good practice guidance in relation to VSAs

2    Divisional/branch shifts to be designed using force shift parameters as basis and to be agreed between Divisional/Branch Commanders and local Federation representatives.  Any variations to the force parameters to be documented as part of the locally agreed shift arrangements

3    Force Shift Parameters:-

a.    Shift pattern will generally involve a 5 week cycle (or multiple thereof)

b.    Longest rostered tour of duty – 10 hours.  Any exceptions, such as the Air Support Unit, to be ratified at force level (Federation and ACC, HR) as well as agreed locally.

c.    Minimum period between rostered tours to be no less than 11 hours

d.    No more than 7 days duties should be rostered consecutively between rest days.  Re-rostered rest days will take no account of hours of duty – a day is a day

e.    Force Working Day to commence 0700 hours.  Any exceptions such as the Airport, to be ratified at Force level (by Federation and ACO HR) as well as agreed locally

f.    Maximum hours rostered in a week will not exceed 70 hours or 200 hours in a 5 week cycle

g.    Morning duty will be rostered to take place between the hours of 0700 and 1900 hours (subject to any exceptions agreed in respect of 3e above) i.e. normal start time variable between 0700 and 1000 and in normal circumstances would not extend beyond 1900 hours except where extra ordinary (i.e. identifiable one off operational demand or an identifiable pattern of crime which requires a longer term deviation to shifts, such longer term requirement being subject to regular review).  Special operational requirements dictate a later finishing time which should be no later than 2000 hours (subject to prior local consultation). Otherwise only with an officers consent

h.    Afternoon duty will be rostered to take place between the hours of 1100 and 0300 hours. i.e. normal start time variable between 1100 hours and 1700 hours and in normal circumstances would not extend beyond 0300 hours Exceptionally where extra ordinary (i.e. identifiable one off operational demand or an identifiable pattern of crime which requires a longer term deviation to shifts such longer term requirement being subject to regular review) special operational requirements dictate a later finishing time this should be rostered no later than 0400 hours (and subject to prior local consultation). Otherwise only with an officers consent

i.    Night duty will be rostered to take place between the hours of 1900 hours and 0700 hours. i.e. normal start time variable between 1900 hours and 2300 hours; rostered finish time will be no later than 0700 hours Otherwise only with an officers consent. No more than 4 nights to be rostered consecutively

j.    ‘In exercising flexibility to meet demand, supervisors must take account of all the circumstances including the health and welfare issues which could be influenced by changing duties”

For example, if there are sufficient numbers rostered on nights to allow some to drop back to assist colleagues on an afternoon duty, officers should be first asked of their preferences.The emphasis must be on fair, even handed decisions.

4    Divisional/Departmental Commanders must publish shift patterns at least 3 months in advance on a rolling basis (i.e. the pattern of mornings/ afternoons/nights).  Actual start and finish times should be published at least 28 days in advance

5    Court duty will be worked as a morning duty.  Officers deviated for court duty may request time due towards end of shift and cognisance regarding the interval between rostered duties.

6    It is not in the interest of the force or individual officers, that officers should be required to perform a full period of duty having just concluded a period of night duty at 0700 hours that day.  Exceptionally, where an officer requests such a change and the appropriate supervising officer considers it desirable, approval may be given.

7    An officer should not normally be required to perform consecutive periods of Night Duty, Afternoon Duty and Morning Duty to facilitate court attendance during a shift cycle unless an officer requests such a change.

8    Exigencies of Duty It is recognised that it may not always be possible to follow the guidelines set out above, but the aim should be to allow an officer adequate time for rest and recuperation between duties.  There is, of course, an absolute requirement at all times to follow the provisions of Police Regulations, governing changes to rosters.  All practical measures should be taken to avoid rosters being changed so that an interval of less than 11 hours expires between one daily period of duty and the next.

Making changes to shift times at short notice (less than 28 days) should be exceptional, infrequent and in response to unforeseen events. Prior to making the change Resource Management Units need to assess the risk to service delivery if the gaps are not filled.

Volunteers should be sought in the first instance, however, if the gaps cannot be filled through volunteers RMU's should consider other alternatives before changing shift times with less than 28 days' notice such as:-

• using resources from other areas

• retaining officers on casual overtime

• cancellation of rest days

9    Changes to rosters should only be made for operational and practical reasons rather than purely financial grounds

10    Training:

•    Should not normally be rostered to coincide with an officers extended rest day period before or after the night duty

•    Where training does encroach into a rest day, that rest day will be re-allocated, where the rest day falls within the first week of any course.  Thereafter the rest day pattern will be in accordance with the rest days pattern set for that course

•    Staff will not be penalised where due to training courses they do not complete their contracted number of hours within the shift system

11    Time Due:- Will be calculated within the provisions of police regulations applying at the relevant time, and time off will continue to be granted subject to the exigencies of the service.

12    Overtime:- Will commence at the end of a rostered tour of duty and entitlement of enhanced payments will be calculated in accordance with Police Regulations applying at the relevant time.

13    Disputes Machinery In the event of a ‘failure to agree’ shifts, the escalation procedure would involve the Federation Joint Branch Board Chair or Secretary and the divisional commander/branch head (if not already substantially involved) or an alternative divisional commander/branch head to assist the parties with the conciliation process. Definition of a ‘failure to agree’ is where local management and federation representatives have been unable to reach a negotiated agreement through meaningful consultation processes and they have agreed and certified that this is the case.

14    Termination of VSA:- Termination of VSA will be by no less than 56 days written notice by either the Joint Board or the Chief Constable or his designated representative.

 

NB The above protocols have been drawn up to assist with the design of VSAs.  These protocols do not preclude other types of shifts (e.g. 8 hour shifts) that do not comply with the VSA parameters.

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