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Dorset Police
Police Staff – FAQ’s

Continuous training and development
We are committed to the development of our staff and we have an infrastructure in place to support training and development which includes, funding for approved training courses and recognised qualifications appropriate to role as well as short courses and online learning.

An increasing number of police staff carry out roles formerly performed by police officers, for example detention officers and crime scene investigators. Where these opportunities arise, appropriate training and mentoring is provided to ensure staff are fully prepared and equipped with the right level of knowledge and skills to undertake the role.
Pay
You will usually commence employment at the first point on the salary scale advertised and be rewarded by annual increments until reaching the top of the scale.

An annual pay review takes place in September each year and is negotiated with Unison on behalf of all police staff.
Pension
At the start of your employment, you will automatically become a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme administered by Peninsular Pensions.
Professional fees
We pay subscriptions to professional bodies where membership of that body is an essential requirement for the role. Examples include finance, personnel, purchasing and legal subscriptions.
Hours
This is a 24/7 organisation and various shift-working patterns are operated, however, many police staff work a standard 37 hour week from Monday to Friday.
Annual leave
The annual leave year is from April to March. Annual leave entitlement for a full-time employee is 22 days/162.8 hours (pro rata if you start or leave during the leave year and if you work reduced hours). This rises to 30 days after five years of employment.

Bank holidays are in addition to annual leave and are pro rata for staff who work reduced hours.
Sickness
Sick pay entitlement varies in accordance with length of service - from one month's full pay and two months' half pay after four months' service, to six months' full pay and six months' half pay after five years' service.
Car allowance
Where travel is required the Force will usually provide a pool or hire car.
Facilities
Facilities at our headquarters in Exeter are available to all staff. These include a café, gymnasium, sports hall, sauna, squash courts and free parking.

These facilities are also available to your partner or close family.
Work-life balance
We are committed to assisting staff achieve a healthy work-life balance by considering flexible working arrangements, offering career breaks and special paid and unpaid leave.

The organisation is happy to consider applications for flexible working patterns unless the role has been objectively justified as being unsuitable for flexible working arrangements.

Special constables within Dorset Police are entitled to 20 hours of paid leave per year to attend training or perform the role of a special constable.

Volunteer Reservists are entitled to up to 10 days per year to attend annual training camp.
Childcare vouchers
We have introduced a childcare voucher scheme which enables staff to save on the cost of childcare. The vouchers can be purchased through payroll and can be used as full or part payment for a range of childcare options.
Occupational health
The aim of the occupational health support unit is to provide the highest level of professional occupational health support and expertise to our staff in order to promote optimal physical and mental health, safety, fitness and well-being.
Support for staff from minority groups
We are dedicated to providing a working environment which values the skills of all our staff irrespective of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age or religious belief. Our focus is on the abilities of the individual.

We support a number of groups or networks for disabled, black and minority ethnic, Christian, women in policing, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual staff. These groups offer mutual support and enable us to get feedback on issues affecting staff in minority groups.
Employee Assistance Programme
All staff and their families have access to the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). It is a confidential counselling and information service which advises on personal or work-related issues and is available 24/7 and 365 days a year.

The EAP service is free to employees and their immediate family. Contact is by way of a confidential telephone service.

Short term, face-to-face counselling with a professional psychologist or counsellor close to where you live or work can also be arranged at no cost to the individual.
Trades unions
UNISON is the biggest union for police staff in the UK. UNISON represents the interests of police staff at all levels and campaigns for higher status, better recognition, pay and conditions.

As an employee, you have the option to join UNISON or any other union for a monthly subscription.
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