News that overnight allowance is to be paid to all those eligible officers who will be working away from home as part of the policing operation for the American presidential visit has been welcomed.
Simon Kempton, Police Federation of England and Wales’ lead on mutual aid, said the news was positive, albeit should have been made at the outset of the planning process.
“The Federation has worked hard, nationally and at local level, to put forward a reasoned and balanced case to chief officers as to why officers should all be treated fairly and in these circumstances be paid the allowance.
“It is positive that those arguments have now been listened to, albeit disappointing that this was not recognised at the outset. There was disparity across the country in the approaches being taken and that caused anger and only leads to feelings of resentment. Time and time again officers have their days off cancelled, work over their hours and away from home. This has an impact on their home life, their families, and the health and wellbeing of officers themselves, so the very least that should be done is that they are paid and recognised in a fair way.”
The paying of overnight allowance (£50 per night) requires an officer to meet certain criteria and is laid down in police regulations. It is not automatically compensated if an officer is forced to be away from home because of a work deployment. In order to qualify an officer must be held in reserve; and to be deemed to be ‘held in reserve’ and officer must:
a) be away from their normal place of duty
b) be required to stay in a ‘particular, specified place’ overnight, rather than being allowed home
c) by reason of the need be ready for immediate deployment.
The last criteria ‘be ready for immediate deployment’ has been a moot point and open to interpretation which has meant that some officers were previously not going to be paid the allowance, despite logistical reasons meaning there would be no way they could return home.
“Simply put, this has been about officers getting paid what they deserve and us being able to represent you with chiefs to get a fairer deal, and we as a federation have worked hard behind the scenes to achieve that.” added Mr Kempton.
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