We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

Fed accuses forces of misleading officers on Time Off for Dependants

The Federation has said a number of forces are misleading officers and denying them their entitlements to Time Off for Dependants and Parental Bereavement Leave.

Only one force, Gloucestershire, is “close to acceptable” regarding its policy on TOfD (for when there is an emergency involving a dependant), the Federation has told the NPCC. 

Instances where this leave is relevant include when a dependant falls ill, gives birth or is injured or assaulted. 

The Fed has said that in some areas, policies state “there is no legal right to be paid” and certain forces limit the number of paid days or limit the number of days that can be taken off consecutively. 

Within the Police Regulations, this type of leave is classed as a duty, and therefore as paid leave. 

While the Police Staff Council handbook says that “it will normally be restricted to one or two days duration”, policies cannot restrict the number of days available for the officer. 

The regulations also do not limit the number of occasions per year that the entitlement can be taken. 

“Disappointingly, the Fed has found many forces downplay the entitlement with thin documents which fail to explain how extensive it can be,” it said. 

Gloucestershire was cited as an example of good practice - with the Fed saying that the force explains the procedure as well as providing examples of when TOfD could be taken. 

An issue was further found with Parental Bereavement Leave which took effect from April 2021.  

However, the Fed have said that many forces have created policies which positions Parental Bereavement Leave as being in place of, not in addition to, TOfD. 

PFEW National Equality Lead Ian Saunders said: “Time Off for Dependants and Parental Bereavement Leave is a hugely important benefit to all our members, but particularly for women, who tend to have greater responsibility for child and elderly care within families.

“Unfortunately, we have found forces systematically try to downplay, or even misrepresent these entitlements in their policies which is deeply concerning.

“The low take-up of TOfD in most forces is a sign they have effectively minimised something they should instead be actively promoting to enable those with dependants to remain as police officers and continue to serve the public.

“If this is partly a cost-cutting exercise, then forces are mistaken. The cost of losing those in service with invaluable experience massively outweighs the cost of paying officers to take this leave.

“There is also a need for culture change as we found officers taking this leave are made to feel they are letting their team down or should be grateful for taking TOfD leave even in instances where this is less than their entitlement.

“If forces want to successfully recruit and, just as importantly, retain, they need to see the bigger picture.

“We have presented our findings to the National Police Chiefs’ Council, and we would urge chiefs to act upon it.”

The Police Federation have a guide here.

Leave a Comment
View Comments 1
In Other News
Pay rise set at 5% but Fed warns established officers will lose out
Staff side reviews pay strategy as public sector strikes loom
Home Office under renewed pressure to resolve pay row
Officer trauma support better but more work needed says HMI
Scottish Fed slams silence from employers over pay talks
Leicestershire officer elected vice chair of Police Federation
More News