Annual Leave Guidance

   
   

Annual leave entitlement and leave year

The annual leave entitlement for staff will be stated in their contract of employment - see also the Annual Leave Entitlement by Job Family/Staff Group.

Annual leave entitlement accrues at the rate of 1/12th of the entitlement for each calendar month of service, with part months being calculated on a pro rata basis.

Part-time staff i.e. those contracted to work less than the number of hours in the full-time working week for the job family/staff group or those who work a fraction of the year, are entitled to annual leave pro rata to the full-time entitlement. Please refer to the Pro Rata Annual Leave Calculator which will assist in this calculation.

Because of the complexities of calculating holiday entitlement for fractional contract staff, the pro rata annual leave calculator is not applicable. Should you have any questions regarding holiday calculations and fractional contracts you should contact your Employment Support Services team.

For staff with a fractional contract (e.g. term-time) the total number of contracted weeks per year will include the pro rata holiday entitlement. Staff on fractional contracts are expected to take their annual leave during the non-working weeks/days of their contract and therefore do not need to book holidays in advance. For example, a member of staff expected to work 31 weeks each year, will have a fractional contract for a total of 36 weeks per year. Their holidays are therefore normally taken outside of the 31 designated working weeks.

The annual leave entitlement is calculated on the basis of a “leave year”.  The dates of  the leave year  are as  stated in the contract of employment. For most staff in the University the leave year runs from 1 October to 30 September.

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Arrangements for booking and taking annual leave

Absence from work due to annual leave is an authorised absence and as such has to be applied for by the member of staff, to the Head of School/Department or designated person and recorded by the School/Department. Annual leave will not be authorised, which may lead to loss of pay, unless the notification and recording procedure has been followed.

Staff and their managers should ensure that the annual leave entitlement is normally taken within the current leave year. Where necessary, managers may authorise the carry forward of up to five days as detailed later in this guidance. Managers have a duty of care to ensure that their staff  take at least the statutory minimum number of days leave each year, which currently is 28 days (including Public Holidays).

The Head of School/Department (or designated person) is responsible for putting into place the most appropriate process for recording annual leave, usually by means of a leave sheet, a spreadsheet (please see Useful Tools for examples) or through other forms of appropriate IT or paper based systems. Schools/Departments must put in place, and communicate to all their staff, local procedures for booking and recording leave. These procedures must comply with this guidance, but may be more concise and more practice orientated, taking into account operational issues. For planning purposes it is recommended that where appropriate, the dates of the notified annual leave are entered onto an electronic holiday calendar which will be visible to staff.

The timing of annual leave is by mutual agreement between the relevant Head of School/Department (or designated person) and the member of staff. The Head of School/Department will take into account both individual preference and operational requirements. Staff should apply for annual leave as far in advance as possible of when they want to take leave, in accordance with the arrangements for their particular School/Department.

Due to the operational requirements of Schools/Departments, there may be certain times of the year when it is not possible to take any annual leave. If this is the case staff will be advised by their Head of School/Department (or designated person) well in advance or such days will be stipulated in their letter of appointment and/or their written statement of terms and conditions. For those on a fractional contract, where the main demand for the work is around the three term dates, annual leave will not normally be taken during the designated working weeks, as per the details in the contract of employment.

In all cases, where there are periods within the leave year when staff will not be able to take annual leave then the Head of School/Department (or designated person) must effectively communicate this, ensuring that all their staff are aware of this well in advance.

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New starters and leavers

The annual leave entitlement for staff joining or leaving the employment of the University during the course of the year is proportionate to their completed service during the leave year.

New starters

During the period from the date a new employee starts their appointment until the end of the first leave year (for most staff this is September), the annual leave entitlement accrues at the rate of 1/12th of the entitlement for each completed calendar month of service. Part months will be calculated on a pro rata basis. For example, if the leave year runs from 1 October to the 30 September and a member of staff starts work on the 15 March, they will be entitled to 6.55 months ÷ 12 months x the full-time annual leave entitlement (pro rata for part-time staff). During this period, leave may not normally be taken before it has accrued, except in special circumstances when it may be authorised by the Head of School/Department or designated person.

Leavers

If a member of staff leaves the University part way through a leave year they are normally entitled to annual leave in proportion to the number of completed calendar months of service in the current leave year, less any leave already taken. Part months will be calculated on a pro rata basis. Staff should normally try to take any annual leave due during their period of notice. If it is not possible, due to the operational requirements of the School/Department to take all outstanding annual leave before the member of staff leaves, they will be entitled to receive payment-in-lieu for any such outstanding annual leave entitlement, as notified to Human Resources, by the Head of School/Department or designated person. Annual leave cannot be paid-in-lieu whilst the employment continues.

Should a member of staff leave employment with the University and have exceeded their accrued annual leave entitlement, the University will be entitled to deduct this excess from any sums due to them, including from their salary payment.

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Carry forward of untaken annual leave

Staff will be given sufficient opportunity to take all their annual leave and they should plan to take all their annual leave entitlement within the leave year. Up to 5 days annual leave only may be carried forward from one leave year to the next, in exceptional circumstances and only with the agreement of the Head of School/Department or designated person.  The arrangement to carry forward leave is conditional on staff taking these days within the first three months of the new leave year.  Any carry over leave not taken by this date will be lost.

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Bank Holidays and other days of closure

Details of when the Bank Holidays and all other University Closure Days are for each year are available on the Registrar's web pages.

Bank Holidays

The eight Bank Holidays are listed below. There is not normally a requirement to book the Bank Holidays as the annual leave entitlement for staff excludes the Bank Holidays.

  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • May Day
  • Spring Bank Holiday Monday (normally in late May)
  • Late Summer Holiday Monday (normally in late August)
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

If staff work full-time, irrespective of length of service they are entitled to a paid holiday on each of the eight Bank Holidays. If staff work part-time irrespective of length of service they will receive a pro rata entitlement based on the eight Bank Holidays (please refer to the pro rata part-time calculator and the Guidance Notes For Line Managers which will assist in the calculation of the entitlement for part-time staff.

For job share staff, the full-time entitlement to the Bank Holidays will be shared on a pro rata basis. If there is an uneven spread of Bank Holidays, it will be the responsibility of the job share partners to redistribute working hours to ensure that appropriate shares are maintained.

University Closure Days

Each year the University Council designates up to five days as University Closure Days. The timing of these Closure Days varies from year-to-year. There is not normally a requirement to book the Closure Days as the annual leave entitlement for staff excludes the Closure Days (except for security staff whose Closure Days are included in their annual leave entitlement).

If staff work full-time, irrespective of length of service they are entitled to a paid holiday on each of the Closure Days (other than for Security staff). If staff work part-time irrespective of length of service they will receive a pro rata entitlement based on the Closure Days (please refer to the pro rata part-time calculator and the Guidance Notes For Line Managers which will assist in the calculation of the entitlement for part-time staff).

For job share staff, the full-time entitlement to the Closure Days will be shared on a pro rata basis. If there is an uneven spread of Closure Days, it will be the responsibility of the partners to redistribute working hours to ensure that appropriate shares are maintained.

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Other holiday leave circumstances

Sickness

If a member of staff falls sick during a period of booked annual leave, the appropriate number of days will be rescheduled, providing the illness has been authenticated (which can be a self certificate or medical certificate) in accordance with the University Sickness Notification Procedure. This means that the sickness absence should be reported, on the first day of sickness, to the relevant person in the School/Department, in the normal manner.

A member of staff is not paid for a Bank Holiday and/or University Closure Day if they have had an unauthorised absence from work on the normal working day preceding or following it. Absence on account of sickness the day before and following a Bank Holiday and/or University Closure Day must be authenticated (which can be a self certificate or medical certificate) in accordance with the University Sickness Notification Procedure.

During any period of sickness absence where a member of staff is receiving University Sick Pay (either on full or half pay) then annual leave will accrue, based on the contractual entitlement. If a member of staff is on unpaid sick leave then annual leave will accrue, based on the statutory entitlement of 20 days.

Employees who are unable to take their statutory annual leave (20 days) due to long term sickness may request to carry forward this amount into the next leave year (less any leave already taken). The restrictions on taking it before the end of December will not apply, however it must be taken within the following year. Any such requests must be approved by the line manager bearing in mind the extent to which the individual has had the opportunity to take this leave before the end of the leave year.

The rules applying to the carry forward of untaken annual leave (please see above) will apply to staff on sickness absence and only up to five days may be carried forward from one leave year to the next, in exceptional circumstances.

Maternity Leave

Annual leave will continue to accrue during all periods of maternity leave. Please see the University Maternity Leave Policy for details.

Other leave

For entitlement to accrue annual leave during other forms of leave e.g. Adoption Leave, Parental Leave, please check the details in the relevant policy in the Maternity, Parental Support and Adoption section.

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Last edited Dec 10, 2015