POA Circulars

132 | 13.11.2014

Detached Duty

At the NEC meeting on 12th November 2014, the Executive discussed the growing concerns and discontent of members who are being forced to go on detached duty and stay away from their home.

It is clear that the staffing in our prisons is and has been at critical level for some time, a circumstance that NOMS has created through poor policy decisions.

The NEC engaged with NOMS to ensure their protocol treated members fairly and minimised the disruption to family life.

Currently around 240 staff are required to go on detached duty to prisons across the estate. Some members are volunteering for detached duty, whilst others are able to travel on a daily basis, with little or no disruption to their family life. However, more and more members are now being forced to go on detached duty, stay away from home for two weeks and disrupt their family life. This is totally unacceptable.

At the NEC meeting on 12th November 2014 the following proposal was carried.

“That the POA inform NOMS that the NEC no longer accepts their policy of compulsory detached duty, which forces staff to stay away from home and we seek an urgent meeting on this matter. Furthermore, if NOMS continue to use this policy and force staff to stay away from home the NEC direct the membership to withdraw from Payment Plus (P/P) until an agreement is reached”.

In order to progress this proposal a letter has been sent to NOMS seeking an urgent meeting to revise the current arrangements. If an agreement is not reached with NOMS, further information will be promulgated to the membership in due course to fulfil the terms of the proposal.

In addition to this proposal, the Executive has sought legal advice for members who are required to go on detached duty. Therefore, if any member is ordered to go on detached duty and they object, they should raise a grievance using the format attached at Annex A of this circular.

If any member requires advice they should contact their local officials, their NEC representative or contact POA headquarters.

Please draw the contents of this circular to your member’s attention. Thanking you in anticipation of your support and co-operation.

Yours sincerely


General Secretary