Answer

Back
Can I claim overtime for a work related phone call on my rest day.
You may be able to claim overtime. The only time this happens is if you are officially on-call, and you receive a telephone call about the matter for which you are on call. This would then be classified as a recall to duty and you may reckon a minimum of four hours overtime at the appropriate rate for the sort of day it is (working day: time and a third; rest day: time and a half, or a public holiday: double time).

The Police Federation does not believe that any officer should be on-call on a rest day or public holiday and have raised the issue with PNB on a number of occasions. The matter has yet to be resolved.

The authority for this derives from the case of Lavelle v Chief Constable of Northumbria, which was about a Police Search Advisor. The Judge said,

"In the first place it is necessary to see whether on a particular occasion the Claimant was doing something he was required to perform. If he was, it matters not that he does not receive a specific instruction, "you are recalled to duty". He is being recalled to his duty by the fact of the call upon him at a time when it is his duty to respond. For that reason, I would distinguish those occasions when the Claimant was not actually rostered as on-call. On those occasions, he could, if approached for help, do as he did on one occasion and refer the enquiry to someone who was. If on those occasions he took the call, he was strictly, it seems to me a volunteer doing what he did as a matter of goodwill and no doubt because it would reflect well upon him that he did it.

"Second, I do not think that there would be a recall to duty if the Claimant did not engage in some way with the call in a way that amounted to a performance of his duty as a Police Search Adviser. Even on occasions when he was rostered, if the result of answering the call was simply to deflect it in some way, because there had been a mistake in calling upon him or the call was about something which was outwith his particular expertise, or for some other similar reason, it would not seem to me he was recalled to his duty. But if he engaged with the enquiry and dealt with it within the scope of his duty as a Police Search Adviser, it seems to me that it falls within the Regulations as a recall."

As an example, an officer is rostered to be on-call in his/her capacity as a Public Order Tactical Advisor (POTA). S/he is at home having completed a tour of duty. The officer receives a telephone call about public order for the sole reason that s/he is a POTA. The officer has been recalled to duty and can claim a minimum of four hours overtime at time and one third as compensation for the disturbance.

The judgement also makes clear that if the officer was on-call, but contacted about something that had nothing to do with him/her being the on-call POTA, it did not constitute a recall to duty.

If you are called about a court warning, duty change, or anything else work-related, you are not being recalled to duty and there is no overtime claim. However, the telephone conversation (on-call or not) does constitute working time and should be recorded as such.
Category: DUTY, Last Updated: 15-07-2012 [92]