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Duty changes – Police Regulation 22

Police Regulations (Regulation 22) state:

Officers have the right to at least 3 months published duties.

Such duties must include:

  • Rest Days

  • Public Holidays, upon which they are working

  • Start and Finish times

  • Free Days

These duties can only be set after full consultation with the Joint Branch Board.

Additionally Forces should forecast Projections of at least 12 months duties for the purposes of planning annual leave.

Once these duties have been set they should only be altered subject to exigencies of duty.

Exigency of duty is set out in the PNB Circulars as follows:

4.3 PNB CIRCULAR 86/9

4.3.1 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.

4.3.2 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, changes to rostered duties would be justified by unforeseen public order situations, court attendance and essential training.

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.