D2501 Procedure - Special Constabulary – Employer Supported Policing
Number: D2501 Date Published: 11 December 2020 Version 5 – December 2020
1.0 Summary of Changes
This procedure has been updated within section 3.1 to amend that staff may take one normal working day as ESP leave rather than restricting ESP leave to 8 hours as this disadvantages staff who usually work 10-hour duties - mainly FCR.
2.0 What this Procedure is about
Employer Supported Policing (ESP) is a national scheme whereby employers are asked to provide support to policing by encouraging their staff to work as Special Constables. One of the central features of ESP is that employers allow their staff paid leave to perform Special Constable duties.
This procedure explains the circumstances in which Essex Police staff who are also Special Constables will be eligible for paid leave to perform additional Special Constable duties.
Compliance with this procedure and any governing policy is mandatory.
3.0 Detail the Procedure
3.1 Normal Monthly Entitlement
Police staff who are active Special Constables will be permitted to perform one Special Constable duty each month instead of undertaking their normal day to day role. This will be referred to as ESP leave. ESP leave will be the equivalent of one normal day role duty. To ensure staff who usually work ten-hour duties are not disadvantaged.
This procedure reinforces ESP leave as one normally rostered working day.
A staff member will apply for ESP leave via SAP using the heading ‘SC employer Support’ (PD) from the dropdown box. ESP leave will then be authorised or rejected by RMU. Staff members can apply for this leave up to 18 months in advance in order to assist with effective resource planning. Local managers are asked to support this initiative and only refuse such requests where absolutely necessary.
It is not possible to roll ESP leave over between months; if the entitlement is not used with the calendar month then it will cease to apply.
The staff member’s Specials duty must equate to at least the time they have taken as ESP leave. For example, a staff member cannot take 10hrs ESP leave and then only work an 8-hour Specials duty. A staff member may choose to work a longer duty than their ESP leave should they wish to volunteer their time and it is within the parameters of Working Time Regulations.
3.2 Critical Demand
In times of critical demand or threat, additional time off to perform Special Constable duties may be authorised by the force Strategic (Gold) Commander.
This may exceed the normal maximum of 8hrs a month.
Where a Strategic (Gold) Commander authorises mobilisation of Special Constables from their staff roles, there is a presumption that this will be honoured by local managers as the circumstances are likely to be exceptional (typically a national security threat or a major incident).
Where a local manager does not feel able to release a member of staff to Special Constable duties without a significant threat to force operations that should be brought to the attention of the relevant Operational (Bronze) or Tactical (Silver) Commander in the first instance.
A Strategic (Gold) Commander may insist upon the release of a staff member to perform Special Constable duties.
3.3 Exceptional Cases or Roles
There may be a limited number of situations, outside of a critical threat or major incident, where there is an exceptional resourcing requirement placed upon the force e.g. policing of a significant event. In these cases local managers may grant a member of police staff additional paid leave to perform Special Constable duties where they consider it appropriate and sustainable.
Special Constables who are employed as police staff LPA Special Coordinators may be given additional ESP leave, up to 8hrs a week, where they request it and their deployment will support their paid role e.g. supporting a non-independent patrol Special Constable in obtaining experience for their evidence portfolio.
3.4 Time off for Training
The normal monthly entitlement (ESP Leave) may be used for a police staff member to attend Special Constable training.
There is no prescribed entitlement for additional paid leave in order to attend Special Constable training.
3.5 Compelling Deployment
A member of police staff who is a Special Constable cannot be compelled, ordered or pressured to deploy as a Special Constable whilst undertaking their paid employment. Special Constable is a voluntary role and ESP leave will be requested by the officer, not enforced upon them.
3.6 External Employer Support
Essex Police is grateful for the support of other employers in granting their staff paid leave in order to perform Special Constable duties. The amount of leave granted by an employer and the circumstances under which they are prepared to grant it are entirely at the discretion of the employer. The arrangements for applying for and recording ESP leave within that company will be determined by the employer.
When a Special Constable is on duty they are under the direction and control of the Chief Constable of Essex Police and will be deployed accordingly. The Special Constable’s normal employer will not provide direction or restriction over the nature or location of Special Constable deployments whilst they are on duty.
When employers sign up to Employer Supported Policing they will complete a Business Registration Form that describes how the scheme will operate with that company. Where appropriate, that Business Registration Form may include the default activities of Special Constables during the time they are released by that employer. This will emphasise that direction and control of on-duty officers sits with the Chief Constable. The MOU may include default patrol areas or crime types to be prioritised during the officer’s ESP time.
Essex Police and a District Council may agree that where the Council’s staff are released on ESP leave their default activity will be to work within the Community Policing Team for that time, tackling community safety priorities, rather than work with response teams.
Essex Police and a private employer within a town centre area may agree that by default staff released under ESP are deployed into the town centre area for that duty, rather than elsewhere in the force or district.
Essex Police will not endorse Special Constables working exclusively within their employer’s premises whilst released under ESP. The Special Constabulary is not a means to achieving warranted private security.
Business Registration Forms will be facilitated by the Supported Policing Champion within Specials Command, after consultation with the employer and any internal stakeholders. The Supported Policing Champion will ensure adherence with this procedure and maintain a central repository for the Business Registration Forms on Duty Sheet.
3.7 Working Time Regulations
Special Constables are subject to Working Time Regulations. A workforce agreement is in place for Specials which removes the requirement for a minimum of 11hrs between duties provided that compensatory rest is taken at the next available opportunity. In addition, a Special Constable may have opted out of the maximum 48hr working week with their employer and/or in their voluntary role.
Local managers need to work with their staff to ensure that there is an 11hr break between duties or that sufficient compensatory rest is taken. Special Constables also have a responsibility to ensure that their managers are aware of their working time as a Special, so that Working Time Regulations are complied with.
3.8 Duty Sheet
Where an officer is granted paid leave for Special Constable duties they must record the hours worked as an ESP duty on Duty Sheet, ensuring that they log off and record their duty statistics in the required manner.
Where a Special Constable is working an ESP day the length of their duty will not be shorter than the day they would otherwise have worked, unless they have the prior agreement of their employer/local manager.
3.9 Mileage and Expenses
Special Constables working ESP duties may only claim duty allowance for any duty time that is in addition to their working day, as under ESP they are otherwise being paid for that working day. For example, if a Special would have worked an 8 hour day for their employer, but works a 10 hour duty as a Special, they may claim the duty allowance for the 2 hours, not the whole 10 hour duty.
Special Constables working an ESP duty may only claim for any mileage incurred over and above travel to and from their normal place of work. For example, if a Special living in Billericay normally works in Basildon (7 miles away) but is based at Boreham as a Special (13 miles away) they can only claim for 6 miles each way.
All other allowances and expenses will be paid in the usual way.
4.0 Equality Impact Assessment
EIA – November 2017
5.0 Risk Assessment
Risk Assessments are in place for the general policing activities and specialist roles that Special Constables will carry out. These are accessed via the Health and Safety extranet site. Nothing in this procedure should create risks that have not been previously considered.
The following have been consulted during the formulation of this document:
Special Constabulary Development Board
Special Constabulary - Senior Leadership Group
Equality and Diversity Co-ordinator
Health & Safety
7.0 Monitoring and Review
This procedure will be reviewed every two years by the Special Constabulary Development Manager (or equivalent role) in conjunction with Human Resources.
8.0 Governing Force policy. Related Force policies or related procedures
D 2500 Policy – Special Constabulary
L 1540 Protocol – Leave
G 1601 Procedure – Mileage
G 1608 Procedure – Other Expenses
8.1 Data Security
Essex Police have measures in place to protect the security of your data in accordance with our Information Management Policy – W 1000 Policy – Information Management.
8.2 Retention & Disposal of Records
Essex Police will hold data in accordance with our Records Review, Retention & Disposal Policy – W 1012 Procedure/SOP - Records Review, Retention and Disposal.
We will only hold data for as long as necessary for the purposes for which we collected. Victims/public should be reminded that Essex Police take the protection of personal data seriously as described in the privacy notice.
9.0 Other source documents, e.g. legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), Force forms, partnership agreements (if applicable)