Acting Up

As you are aware there have been changes to the arrangements for officers who are acting up or are temporary promoted. A recent Home Office circular endorses previous guidance received therefore, we are now in a position to publish a policy on this matter.

The key changes are as follows:

Qualifying period

If an officer acts up, the qualifying period for claiming acting up allowance is now 10 complete days cumulative (in the case of a part-time officer 80 complete hours, and an officer with variable shift arrangements qualifying shifts amounting in total to 80 hours), rather than 14 days, in any 12 month period beginning on 1st April each year.

Temporary promotion

If an officer acts up for a further 46 consecutive days following the qualifying period then they should be automatically temporarily promoted.  It is important to note that an officer would only be eligible for temporary promotion if he/she is qualified for promotion i.e. OPSRE part 1 and 2.

The ethos of the PNB circular is to support an officer’s development by providing opportunities for him/her to experience the duties of a higher rank therefore, there is an assumption that priority for these opportunities will be given to those qualified for promotion.

However, there is a facility within the PNB agreement to pay temporary salary to officers who are not qualified and act up longer than 56 days.  This is a new concept and should only be utilised when there are no qualified officers available for acting up duties that are likely to exceed 56 days and/or during a rare occasion when the Chief Constable is required to respond to “an overwhelming operational emergency that requires an immediate application”.

There is clearly a cost to the organisation of acting up, temporary promotion or temporary salary therefore the necessity test still applies as follows:

  • Is there a statutory need for an officer to act up, OR
  • Is there an operational or organisational need to cover a position in the absence of the post holder
  • What will actually be achieved by designating an officer to act up
  • Is there another substantive officer who could perform any of the duties during an absence.