Can I take dependants care leave.
Police officers are entitled to take dependants leave in certain circumstances. Police Regulations define a dependant as a spouse, child, parent, someone who lives in your house but not a lodger, and someone you would normally care for.

Essentially this regulation came about as a result of the Employment Relations Act 1999. Police Officers are not employees and so a Police Regulation (33 Annex T) was brought in. The key to the success of any request for dependants leave is a good relationship between the officer and a well informed manager.

The Regulations (paraphrasing) say the following. The words in brackets are an interpretation and purely to give some advice.

'A member of a police force is entitled to be permitted by the Chief Officer to take a reasonable amount of time off during normal duty periods to take action which is necessary to:
  • Provide assistance on an occasion when a dependant falls ill / gives birth / injured / assaulted
  • To make arrangements for the provision of care for an ill / injured dependant (ie. perhaps a couple of hours to get someone in to look after them)
  • When a dependant dies
  • Because of the disruption / termination of care for a dependant (ie. get new nursery place etc / grandparent moves away)
  • Deal with an incident which involves a child of the officer and is unexpected and is in school hours when the child should be at school (ie. not summer holidays etc)
You must tell the Chief Officer as soon as possible and tell them how long you will be off. Dependants leave shall be treated as duty time.'

Police Negotiating Board (PNB) circular 01/22 on dependants leave is pretty unhelpful and clarifies only that this applies to short term difficulties of 1 or 2 days and that the leave is paid leave.

As a guide if what you ask for is 'reasonable' then it would comply with the above. My view is that it is the Chief Constable who would decide what is reasonable in implementing practice in the work place. It is very hard to put a limit on an annual amount of dependants leave that would be reasonable. Certainly there is no broad rule and each case should be judged on its merits.
Category: GENERAL, [112]