Napo Magazine - The Trade Union, Professional Association and campaigning organisation for Probation and Family Court staff news.

Approved Premises – Out of Hours Handbook

The employer has developed an Out of Hours Handbook for managers supporting Approved Premises. The aim is that the handbook will provide all the necessary key information for Out of Hours (OOH) Managers in one place.  Its intention is to detail the expectations of all OOH Managers. 

The employer has developed an Out of Hours Handbook for managers supporting Approved Premises. The aim is that the handbook will provide all the necessary key information for Out of Hours (OOH) Managers in one place.  Its intention is to detail the expectations of all OOH Managers.

The document was shared with the Trade Unions for consultation, but it is important to note that it has not been agreed by Napo.  it would appear that that the employer has launched the handbook prematurely without coming back to the unions to discuss our concerns within the document.

Since the launch of the handbook we have received numerous contacts from Managers covering Out of Hours in the Approved Premises.  These concerns have highlighted the various potential changes to too long established working practices in their respective regions that will stem from the handbook if it is followed.

Claiming Unsocial Hours whilst on Out of Hours cover

Amongst one of the many concerns in the handbook is the remuneration that staff receive for covering a stand-by shift.  The employer has allowed rogue practices to develop over the years in various regions and they are now having to rectify the situation. The NNC Handbook (which sets out Probation Terms and Conditions) has always stated that you cannot claim excess hours as well as unsocial hours – the two payments are mutually exclusive. This approach has not always been followed, and many regions have allowed double claiming. The Handbook sets out the correct NNC position. It will be a painful period to transition to the correct policy and it will have a detrimental impact for members who have followed their local practice.

The employer is now looking to understand the extent of the problem and the impact this will have on operational delivery as the practice of double claiming must not continue. Napo is working with the employer to undertake this exercise as sympathetically as possible.

Next Steps

We have requested an urgent meeting with the Head of the Approved Premises Team to look at the issue of double claiming and the many other issues that have arisen as a result of issuing the Out of Hours Handbook.   If you have any concerns about Out of Hours cover please send these to Ranjit Singh at rsingh@napo.org.uk.

In addition, if you work in the Approved Premises please come along to the next Approved Premises Network meetings. These meeting take place online and the next meeting is scheduled for the 17th November.  There are two networks: one for operational staff and the other for managers.  To register your interest in these networks please contact Shireena at ssuleman@napo.org.uk.

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