At the 2022 PANSW Biennial Conference, delegates discussed the challenges with staffing experienced when officers are absent from the workplace. Following those discussions and debate, Conference 2022 passed a motion seeking assistance and processes in place in enabling the replacement of staff during absences from the workplace.

The following Motion of Urgency was passed at the 2022 Biennial Conference:

The CPOB of PANSW directs the Executive of PANSW to negotiate with NSWPF to create a relief pool of available SAP numbers. This relief pool is available to all Commanders to apply for a position within the relief pool to assist with long term absences, with the provision that Commanders replace these SAP positions once vacancies occur within their area. The CPO Branch recommends the PANSW to analyse and review the Victoria Police model to identify key aspects of this proposal that we can approach NSWPF with.

Following the passing of the above motion, the PANSW began negotiations with the NSWPF to consider an appropriate Relief Pool concept to assist Commands in replacing shifts when staff were absent. In late 2022, as part of the negotiations for the additional 0.5% that was available for the 2023 Award increase, the concept of the Relief pool was drafted between the parties. NSWPF documents on the Relief Pool Trial and supplementary FAQS sheet have been published on the Intranet to support Commanders and officers in participating.

A trial of the relief pool concept consisting of 2 phases commenced in early August 2023 with Nepean, Mt Druitt and Blacktown PACS participating in North West Metropolitan Region and Chifley and Central West PDs in Western Region. Phase 2 commenced in late September 2023, with the mentioned Commands continuing in the trial, along with all PACs attached to Central Metropolitan Region and Child Abuse Squad attached to State Crime Command.

What is it?

In 2022 as part of the Police Award negotiation process, the NSW Police Force and Police Association of New South Wales (PANSW) agreed to the establishment of relief pool/s.

The intent of the relief pool concept is to:

· Enable operational continuity when officer/s temporarily leave the workplace for approved leave types for period of greater than 6 months (shorter periods may be considered in consultation with the PANSW).

· Provide a source of additional operational capability to region/equivalents to allocate resources in response to emerging operational needs

· Provide a source of capacity/capability to backfill vacant working hours resulting from officer flexible working arrangements/other

· Provide a mechanism for officers out of the workplace on leave to return to the NSW Police Force on an ad hoc basis to provide additional operational capacity/capability

· Enable the NSWPF to operate with flexibility for both an organisational and individual benefit

Participation in/attachment to the relief pool/s will be voluntary and vacancies will be filled via an expression of interest/equivalent process.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible to participate in the relief pool trial concept:

a) Officers must be on approved extended leave, parental leave or leave without pay.

b) Officers may be working reduced hours either via a permanent part time arrangement or part time leave without pay arrangement including part time parental leave without pay

c) Officers must be fully operational.

d) Officers must ensure that consistent with the NSW Police Force Work Readiness Framework, when presenting for duty, they are ready for work.

Notes: Officers cannot participate in the relief pool whilst on annual leave (this excludes officers who are on Parental Leave and accessing annual leave, who may still participate in the relief pool as this period is considered “parental leave”).

What are the conditions?

The following conditions apply to all eligible officers participating in the relief pool:

a) Officers may work up to the equivalent full-time hours (228 hours per roster cycle) – this includes part time officers and those on leave. Principles of fatigue management must be considered, as well as the reason for the officer’s leave (for example parental leave to act as the primary carer). These working hours can be on top of the hours they are on leave.

b) Officers are not entitled to any other recognition of service and/or leave accruals for time worked as part of the relief pool. Officers will be paid 1/12th loading to compensate for the annual leave.

Rate of payment?

All officers participating in the relief pool will be remunerated at their ordinary rate applicable (not overtime rates) plus 1/12th loading to compensate for annual leave. In circumstances where officers work a relief pool shift and are required to work beyond the ordinary shift length – this will be considered overtime.

The applicable shift allowances and public holiday loadings will be payable for shifts performed by relief pool officers in accordance with the Award.

The rate of payment is on the basis participation in the relief pool shifts is voluntary. The shift performed is not considered a recall or overtime that is operationally required.

If a Command requires an officer to attend for duty (outside of the relief pool process) the ordinary Police Award/policy provisions will apply for that shift (for example: recall to duty during annual leave or paid portion of parental leave).


The PANSW will be consulted during the review of the relief pool trials to establish a further roll out across the State should it prove successful. We understand during the trials thus far, officers have been accessing relief pool shifts and participating in this process during a time of critical staff shortages across the State. The outcomes from Conference 2022 have requested assistance for Commands to manage staff absences, and the PANSW sees this process as a useful tool for Commanders to fill in absent shifts enabling officers on leave to participate in operational shifts when it suits their needs.

If you require further information on the trial of the relief pool, please get in contact with your PANSW team or 9265 6777.