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Publication Scheme   Y
Title                Career Break Policy

Version              1
Summary              This policy sets out the position on allowing individuals an extended
                     period of unpaid leave.
Branch / OCU         Human Resources Board
Date created         14 April 2004
Review date          April 2007
Existing policies and procedures for the career break scheme have been brought together and
updated under this one policy. The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) understands that at various
stages during an individual’s working life, domestic, family, community, educational and other public
service commitments may mean that they wish to alter their work life balance. The MPS
acknowledges these potential pressures and provide practical help and assistance through the career
break scheme.

All police officers and police staff, including the extended police family, and those working voluntarily
or under the contract to the Metropolitan Police Authority must be aware of and are required to
comply with all relevant MPS policy. However this policy applies in particular to police officers and/or
police staff in the following roles

   •   Police officers who have completed their probationary period.
   •   Police staff who have completed their probationary period.
   •   Occupational Command Unit (OCU) Commanders and Heads of Branches.
   •   Human Resources (HR) Managers.
   •   Line Managers.

The aim of this policy is to support the personal needs of staff by providing an extended break from
work and subsequent return whilst maintaining effective operational capability.

The policy will apply to any request for a career break. The policy also applies to every individual who
is on a career break. It is provided to allow individuals an extended period of unpaid leave and does
not cover requests for special leave or flexible working methods.

Policy Statement
The career break scheme comprises of: -

   •   An eligibility criterion that must be met.

   •   A period of unpaid leave ranging from over 3 months of up to 5 years. A police officers or
       member of police staff may apply for more than one career break during his or her service
       provided that the combined length of breaks does not exceed the maximum of five years

   •   On return from a career break individuals will not necessarily return to their original post or

   •   Individuals will continue to be regarded as employed by the MPS and will therefore remain
       subject to Police Regulations, the Code of Conduct or Police Staff Conditions of Service.

   •   A career break does not qualify as reckonable service for pension or incremental purposes.

   •   Individuals on career breaks will be required to attend their OCU or branch to see the HR
       Manager if possible.
The benefits of this policy will be:
   • The retention of trained, experienced staff who wish to balance personal and work priorities;
   • Supporting the needs of a diverse workforce;
   • Improving staff motivation and job satisfaction.

The ownership of this policy resides with the HR Directorate. This policy was developed by the HR
Policy Development Unit.

Associated Documents and Policies
Career Break Scheme manager’s guidance.

This policy replaces the following:-
Special Notice 4/96 paragraphs 5.5 to paragraph 7 only;
Item 9 Notice 50/99;
Item 2 Notice 24/00;
Item 9 Notice 44/01;
Chapter 7.4 Civil Staff Personnel Manual;
Chapter 7.3 Police Personnel Manual.

Other relevant documents are: -
Fairness at Work policy.
Attendance Management policy.
Working Time Regulations.
Code of Conduct (issues concerning officers returning to the MPS)
Keep in Touch Scheme policy.

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Description: Protective Marking NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED Publication Scheme Y