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Planned leave

The University will provide additional leave to staff in certain circumstances (e.g. to undertake work for a public body or to undertake relevant study). If you wish to apply for additional leave then you should discuss your requirements with your line manager in the first instance. Types of Planned Leave are likely to be:

The University recognises that employees may be involved in undertaking civic duties, or have personal commitments at home or in the wider community and is keen to support this. Therefore there may be other times when planned leave may be requested:

Planned leave is often granted as unpaid. Where specific guidance is not given below, the decision regarding whether leave is paid or unpaid is at the discretion of the Head of School or equivalent, in consultation with the HR Partner/Adviser as appropriate. Payment for a period of planned leave will be dependent upon the particular reason for and anticipated duration of the period of absence. 

Attendance at a funeral/memorial

Compassionate leave is likely to be granted when a close family member or friend dies. Under these circumstances the University will grant paid leave. The amount of paid leave will be dependent on the particular circumstances of the case.

Absence on compassionate grounds should be referred in the first instance to your Head of School or equivalent, who will refer to the relevant HR Partner/Adviser for guidance, if necessary.

Care for a dependent

Please see Emergency leave for care dependents (PDF - 109KB).

Jury service

Employees summoned for Jury Service must tell their line manager as soon as possible after receiving the Jury Summons. The Jury Summons form must be completed in conjunction with HR Operations and returned within 7 days. a copy of the completed form should be taken to be retained on file by the line manager.

Employees undertaking Jury Service will receive their normal salary for a period of up to a maximum of 2 working weeks. 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.

Jury Service beyond this 2 week period will be treated as unpaid leave and therefore any loss of earnings (up to the stipulated amount) should be claimed as stated through the Juror's Allowance process. 

Personal appointments

Personal appointments such as a visit to the doctor, dentist, hospital clinic, solicitors etc. should, where ever possible, be made outside of normal working hours. However, the University recognises that this may not always be possible, and under these circumstances appointments should be made either first or last thing to minimise disruption to your normal working day. Employees must inform their line manager as soon as the appointment is made and agree how their time off will be treated. It is at the manager's discretion as to whether an employee is required to make up time, use annual leave or have unpaid leave. Line managers reserve the right to request sight of an appointment card. 

Trade Union duties and activities

Members of recognised trade unions (the unions recognised by the University are UCU, UNITE and UNISON), 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. 

Volunteer Reserve Service

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. 

Further information

As stated above, planned leave will often be unpaid. You should be aware that any periods of unpaid leave will affect your Pension contributions. Where possible and in advance of taking a period of unpaid leave you should contact the Pensions Office for further advice.

Line Managers should record all planned and unplanned leave locally. Unpaid leave must be reported to HR Operations using an Unpaid leave form ( Word - 66KB).

These guidelines are an outline of the University's approach to handling situations where employees wish to take planned leave.

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