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To work out your leave entitlement go to - Calculating your leave entitlement and use the leave calculator relevant for your grade and pattern. 

Absence is an Employee Self Service (ESS) term which is used to represent all types of absence such as holiday, sickness, compassionate leave, unpaid leave etc. The ESS Absence tab provides you with the opportunity to make an online request for this. 

Online annual leave replaced paper-based leave cards and automatically calculate your holiday entitlement according to your contractual working hours. Annual leave is calculated in days for staff who work the same hours each day across 5 days and in hours for staff to accommodate the various part time working patterns that are currently in place across the University.

Staff may use ESS to:

  • view their annual leave balance
  • review any annual leave bookings (including the authorisation status)
  • submit annual leave requests
  • cancel annual leave requests

The home screen allows you to view all holiday that is scheduled to take place. This includes annual leave both 'authorised' and 'not-authorised' where the request has not yet been approved by your Reporting Manager.

The Absence tab has 4 main sections:

Holiday Balances

The Holiday Balances screen provides an overview of your annual leave entitlement for the leave year 1 October - 30 September.

Entitlement: This is your total annual leave allowance in hours or days (dependent upon whether you are full time or part time) including the correct pro rata entitlement of bank holidays and University closure days.

Please note ESS will allow all staff to carry forward the below automatically:

Staff on Grades 6+

A maximum of one working week only can be carried forward into the next leave year.

Staff on Grades 1 to 5

A maximum of one working week only can be carried forward into the next leave year.

But the Conditions of Employment still apply: Where it is not possible (e.g. for operational reasons) for employees to take all their leave entitlement within the leave year, they may carry forward up to 5 days' leave to the following year, with the permission of their Head of School/Service or other senior manager.  

Scheduled: Any leave that is due to take place in the future. This includes any holiday requests still awaiting authorisation and any bank holidays / closure days that have not yet taken place (These are automatically scheduled and deducted from the overall entitlement for each holiday year).

Balance: The total of outstanding personal annual leave still to be taken during the current leave year.

Annual Leave Entitlement = Holiday (Grade related) + Bank Holidays + Closure Days + Carry Over

The amount of bookable holiday available will be displayed at the top of the page (in hours or days). Any holiday already requested by you will be listed.

Please note: If you do not have a Holiday Balances button displayed or any hours available quoted, this means you do not have a holiday scheme set up. Please contact your Reporting Manager or

My Calendar in ESS gives you a visual overview of any selected month. This includes working patterns, annual leave, bank holidays, closure days, maternity/paternity leave, adoption leave and sickness absence. Staff with line management responsibilities can also view their 'reportees' absence data. Filters can be applied to select the type of leave that you wish to view.

Add Holiday

Guidance on 'requesting annual leave' and 'amending/deleting annual leave' can be found in the following Quick Reference Guides:

Annual Leave (Days)

Annual Leave (Hours)

Please note that amending and deleting requests can only be made for dates in the future (e.g. A request made for 15th October '18 would not be able to be amended on 16th October '18 onwards as it occurs in the past)

Annual leave authorisation process

When an annual leave request is submitted, the system automatically sends out an email notification to the member of staff and their reporting manager. If the member of staff uses ESS to amend or delete the request, the system will send out new notification emails.

When a Reporting Manager receives an annual leave notification via email, they use the area of ESS to action. Once the annual leave request has been authorised or not-authorised, the member of staff will be sent a confirmation email by the system.



Did you Know?

The university offers a variety of courses and training sessions to support your development including: