COP 26 Mutual Aid – 2021

Common questions asked by officers undertaking Mutual Aid

COP 26 Mutual Aid


The below links answer the most common questions that are asked by officers undertaking Mutual Aid. If you have a query that is not answered by the below, please contact the Federation office for further assistance.

COP26 bespoke agreements

Cheshire Police Federation have negotiated some unique allowances to reflect the fact you are away from home for so long. Not all forces have agreed all of these payments and you may get questions from other officers around it. It is up to the home force to pay some of these.

  • Overnight ‘held in reserve’ allowance – £50 per night for all ranks up to CI.

  • PC & Sgt Bonus payment equivalent to 8hrs time and a half for every rest day deployed on Mutual Aid at COP26. However you must be available for immediate deployment (Criteria for this is yet to be defined).

  • Inspector payment of £100 per day (not capped at £500 as has been previously).

  • Where criteria is met Hardship allowance – £30 per night if not in sole occupancy room with en suite bathroom.

These payments will be made by Cheshire Police on your return from MA deployment. Please keep records of all hours worked as whilst overtime is already agreed (and therefore rostered – no losing the first 30 mins) it is important you have accounts of what you worked.

Away from home overnight allowance

  1. a) A member of a police force in the rank of constable, sergeant, inspector or chief inspector shall be paid an allowance of £50, to be known as the away from home overnight allowance, in respect of every night on which the member is held in reserve.
  2. b) Subject to sub-paragraph (c), a member is held in reserve for the purposes of this paragraph if the member is serving away from his normal place of duty (whether because the member has been provided for the assistance of another police force under section 24 of the Police Act 1996 or otherwise) and is required to stay in a particular, specified place rather than being allowed to return home.
  3. c) A member is not held in reserve if the member is serving away from his normal place of duty only by reason of being on a training course or carrying out routine enquiries.

Hardship Allowance

a) A member of a police force shall be paid an allowance of £30, to be known as the hardship allowance, in the circumstances set out in sub-paragraph (b). b) The allowance shall be paid in respect of every night when the member:

i) is held in reserve, within the meaning of paragraph (11), and

ii) is not provided with proper accommodation.

c) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (b)(ii) “proper accommodation” means a room for the sole occupation of the member, with an en suite bathroom

Refreshment Breaks

Your right to a refreshment break is contained within Police Regulation 22 Annex E.

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 your entitlement can be abused or ignored.

Unfortunately, we are aware from feedback from members that this is increasingly the case, and refreshment breaks are increasingly being interrupted or there is no opportunity to take them.

Unlike most other workers Police Officers are paid for their refreshment break as they are required to remain available to return to duty. For this reason it is not lawful if you do not get a refreshment break to take it at the end of your shift as time due. However, as Police Regulations offer little protection when refreshment breaks are not taken or interrupted we must rely on other legislation which may assist.

Working Time Regulations are Health and Safety legislation which 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, minimum of 20 minutes. 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. Breaches of the Working Time Regulations can be dealt with by an Employment Tribunal or complaint to the Health and Safety Executive who can issue the Force with an improvement notice, or even prosecute the Force if the situation is not improved.

Recall to duty

Recommendation 6 (as modified by the PAT) – Overtime – amendment to Annex G The premium rate of time and one third for ‘casual overtime’ is retained, with payment of travelling time for recalls between tours of duty. However, the minimum of four hours’ pay for recall between tours of duty is abolished

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:


4.3.1 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.

Advancing the start of duty time from the rostered time

When the time at which you are required to begin a rostered tour of duty is brought forward without due notice so that you begin the tour on a day on which you have already completed a normal daily period of duty, the time for which you are on duty before the rostered commencement time:
i. shall be reckonable as overtime, and
ii. shall be taken into account as part of that tour of duty.
You should be given as much notice of the change of duty as possible; and every effort should be made to ensure that notice is given before the end of the tour prior to the one that is to be altered.

Assume the Force day commences at 07.00.
If the rostered tour of duty was 07.00 – 15.00.
You are told at 02.00 to attend for duty at 04.00 hrs, until 14.00 hrs.
You will be entitled to payment at one and a third for the period 04.00 to 07.00 and one and a third for the period 12.00 to 14.00.

Due notice for these purposes is defined in Regulation 25 of Police Regulations 2003 as “notice given at least 8 hours before the revised starting time of the rostered tour of duty in question”.

Overtime – when can I claim?

Overtime is potentially payable when:

  • you remain on duty after your tour of duty ends,

  • you are required to begin earlier than the rostered time without due notice and on a day  

  • when you have already completed your normal daily period of duty.

Casual overtime

The premium rate for casual overtime is at a time and one third.

When you are informed at or before the commencement of your tour that you will be required to remain on duty after the tour ends no account is to be taken of any period of less than 30 minutes of overtime worked on any occasion other than a period of 15 minutes.

Where you are not informed at the commencement of your tour of duty that you will be required to remain on duty after the tour of duty ends then, on the first four occasions, in any week, the first 30 minutes of any overtime worked is to be disregarded.

Useful contacts:

Cheshire Federation Office
Tel: 01606 362350 / 07904 988697

Dave Howard, Misconduct Lead

Tel: 07904 967782


Dan Lever, Wellbeing and Equality lead

Tel: 07572 238569