University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you.

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings.

Other types of leave bookings

TOIL- Time Off In Lieu

This is leave which is taken in compensation for additional hours worked at the request of the Reporting Manager by staff on Grades 1 to 5 only. This would normally be in relation to a specific activity or piece of work. Ideally this should be taken within one month of being accrued. It should not be confused with accrued hours built up through flexi-time.

This includes occasional weekend working such as Open Days or working during Welcome week.

In order to book TOIL off in Employee Self Service, you will need to check you have available hours first. If you do not have time you will need to speak with your line manager before making a booking.

This can be booked as Time Off In Lieu via Employee Self-service using the following link: Employee Self Service

Guidance notes are available via 'Things to do now'.

Compassionate leave

Compassionate leave is paid leave that allows an employee time off to deal with their personal distress and related practical arrangements, primarily, but not limited to, when a member of their family dies. It can also apply in instances of serious illness or injury.

The University of Reading acknowledges that bereavement and serious illness or injury impacts all individuals differently and the guidelines below are intended to show the minimum paid leave an employee is entitled to in different circumstances. It is acknowledged that not all employees will need to take the full allowance, and some employees will need additional time, depending on their relationship with the person and the circumstances of the death, illness or injury.

Compassionate leave can be granted by the Line Manager in the event of the death, serious illness or injury of an immediate relative or family member, the number of days is subject to the particular circumstances but is normally 3 days.

This can be booked as compassionate leave via Employee Self-service using the following link: Employee Self Service

Guidance notes are available via 'Things to do now'.

In cases where the circumstances involve the death of a child (and this includes children in respect of whom the employee is the adoptive parent and legal guardians and carers.), please refer to the Parental Bereavement Leave procedure for the statutory entitlement of leave.

One days’ leave can be granted on the death of wider family members to facilitate attendance at the funeral.

In exceptional circumstances, leave may be granted on the death of someone outside the immediate family. These circumstances would include (but are not limited to) situations where the employee is responsible for funeral arrangements or has to travel abroad to attend the funeral.

An employee should notify their line manager of their need to take leave as soon as possible or, at latest, on the first day of absence. In exceptional circumstances, applications for leave will be considered after the first day of absence. Line managers have the right to exercise discretion in exceptional circumstances as outlined above. Leave days do not have to be taken consecutively.

Line managers will check whether the employee’s religion or culture requires them to observe any particular practices or make special arrangements which would necessitate them being off work at a particular time. Employees should not assume that their line manager is aware of any such requirements and should draw this to their line manager’s attention as soon as possible.

Line managers who are unsure of how to respond to a bereaved employee from a different culture should ask the bereaved employee about what is appropriate.

Other support

In addition to Compassionate Leave, an employee may wish to consider options such as requesting unpaid leave or annual leave in order to extend their period of absence. This should be discussed and agreed with their Line Manager. The University also provides an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), which is an independent, free, confidential support and counselling service called Confidential Care. This is a telephone service that can be accessed at any time of the day or night and is available 365 days of the year.

Unpaid leave

Staff are now able to request unpaid leave for any length of time via Employee Self Service. Unpaid leave will be confirmed in an email once it has been authorised by your Reporting Manager. If unpaid leave is for over 8 weeks, then no annual leave will be accrued and the annual leave scheme on your HR record will be suspended for this period and reinstated from the return date. You should also be aware that any periods of unpaid leave will affect your Pensions contributions. Where possible and in advance of taking a period of unpaid leave employees should contact the Pensions Office for further information.

Guidance note are available via 'Things to do now'.

Unpaid Parental Leave

For staff with at least one year's continuous service, this is unpaid leave which can be requested to enable employees with dependant children to take time off, in addition to paid annual leave, to look after a child or to make arrangements for the child's welfare. More details on the policy and entitlement can be found in the Parental Leave Policy. To book unpaid Parental Leave please complete the attached Unpaid Parental Leave Request form. Your line manager needs to sign and authorise this and send to in advance of the proposed Parental leave dates.

Unplanned leave

Occasionally, employees will need to take leave from work at short notice as a result of unforeseen occurrences, domestic or personal emergencies, personal appointment or transport problems. In order to enable employees to deal with these situations the University makes flexible provision for employees to take the necessary time off work, on either a paid or unpaid basis. Employees are generally expected to cover unplanned absence by using their paid annual leave entitlement. When taking leave in accordance with these provisions it is essential to communicate fully with your Reporting Manager as to the nature and duration of the leave.

Jury Service

Employees summoned for Jury Service must tell their Reporting Manager as soon as possible after receiving the Jury Summons.

Employees undertaking Jury Service will receive their normal salary . If, during the Jury Service, there are any days or half days when the employee is not required at court then the employee should, where practicable, return to work.

Jury Service usually lasts for up to 2 weeks. In cases where a trial is likely to last longer, employees can serve for a longer period if they are able to do this. 


Although the University has no formal system of entitlement to sabbatical leave, it recognises the value of such leave of absence in appropriate cases, in helping to maintain high standards of research and scholarship particularly when academic staff are subject to increasing pressure and demands on their time. Each Head of School is therefore expected to make arrangements within the School to enable every member of the established academic staff to receive sabbatical leave at a rate of one term in nine, as appropriate.

Volunteer Reserve Service (VRS)

Reservists should make their line manager aware that they are a member of the Volunteer Reserve Forces (VRF). employees who are members of Britain's VRF (Territorial Army, Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marines Reserve and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force) who are required to attend an Annual Camp for training each year will receive their normal salary for a period of 1 week of the training exercise, the remaining days to be taken from the employee's normal annual leave.

Further information can be found at sabre.

Trade Unions

Members of recognised trade unions (the unions recognised by the University are one Trade Union, the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU)), including recognised trade union representatives, are entitled to take a reasonable amount of time off, to take part in trade union activities. Examples of trade union activities are:

  • attending workplace meetings

  • meeting with their trade union representative to discuss workplace issues

  • voting in a trade union election

Recognised trade union representatives are entitled to a reasonable amount of paid time off to carry out duties as an official or receive relevant training to carry out those duties. Examples of trade union duties are:

  • Negotiating terms and conditions of employment

  • Advising members on University procedures

  • Accompanying employees to meetings regarding flexible working requests, requests not to retire, disciplinary and grievance hearings, etc.

  • Discussing issues around restructuring and redundancies

The University is guided by the ACAS code and guidelines when making decisions regarding time off for trade union duties and activities (see ACAS)

When requesting time off, employees should give as much notice as possible indicating the reasons for taking the time off, and the amount of time that will be required. Representatives should not leave their duties without informing their line manager and as far as possible should ensure that their Trade Union responsibilities are discharged at times which have the minimum impact on their normal day-to-day activities.

Voluntary public duties

Individual employees should inform their Head of School or equivalent before agreeing to undertake voluntary public service. When undertaking such duties (see examples below) it is acknowledged that there are occasions when employees require further leave from work, in addition to any leave that is stipulated as part of the contract of employment or statutory employment legislation, in order to carry out their civic responsibilities or commitments.

Employees, depending on the demands of the role, will be entitled to special leave of up to 10 days with pay and up to 8 further days without pay in any period of 12 months for the purpose of carrying out duties such as:

  • a Justice of the Peace

  • a member of a local authority

  • a member of any statutory tribunal

  • a member of a school managing body

  • An individual employee who is appointed to the Chairmanship of a public body, or to a similar appointment, and thereby attracts significant additional duties may be granted up to an additional 6 days' paid leave.

Special leave may be taken in part days, as required, with the prior agreement of the individual employee's Head of School or equivalent, or his/her nominee, for each absence from work. Such agreement will not be withheld unreasonably.

All of the above entitlements will be pro-rated for part-time employees who do not work 5 days per week.