What length refreshment break am I entitled to?
The right to a refreshment break is contained within Police Regulation 22 Annex E.

This states that where an officer is on duty for a continuous period of 5 hours or more, time for refreshment shall, as far as exigencies of duty permit, be allowed as in the following table;

Number of Hours Refreshment Time
  • Less than 6 hours, 30 minutes
  • 6 hours or more, but less than 7 hours, 35 minutes
  • 7 hours or more, but less than 8 hours, 40 minutes
  • 8 hours or more, but less than 9 hours, 45 minutes
  • 9 hours or more, but less than 10 hours, 50 minutes
  • 10 hours or more, 60 minutes
The refreshment period should be between the 3rd and 6th hour of your shift, whenever practicable. Therefore it should never be the norm that you are required or rostered to take your break outside this period. Refreshment breaks are granted subject to exigencies of service, which is a pressing need or requirement which cannot be reasonably avoided. However, this does not mean that they can be abused or ignored.

Working Time Regulations covers Police Officers. They set down minimum standards which all workers are entitled to by law. Regulation 12 of the Working Time Regulations provides that were a worker's daily time is more than 6 hours they are entitled to a rest break. This is a minimum standard and does not mean that a 20 minute break should be the norm and Police Regulations can be ignored. What it does set down is your entitlement to take that break. This should be an uninterrupted period and you are entitled to spend this away from your work station if applicable.

When you do not get your entitlement to a refreshment break, or it is interrupted by a requirement to return to duty, you should ensure that this is recorded in your pocket book. You should bring this to the attention of your supervisor.
Category: DUTY, Last Updated: 06-02-2012 [18]