Annual leave

  • Working time regulations

    Every worker, whether full or part-time, is entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks (28 days) annual leave each year inclusive of bank holidays. There is no opting out of the annual leave provisions. In other words, leave must be taken, with no option to pay in lieu except on termination of employment.

    Leave year

    The University’s leave year runs from 1 September to 31 August except for the Directorates of Estates and Campus Services, and, IT Services who's leave year runs 1 January to 31 December. A maximum of five working days (or one working week for part-time staff) can be carried forward to the following leave year by agreement with the Dean of Faculty/Director.  Staff starting employment during the Annual Leave year will be entitled to a pro rated allocation for the remaining part of the annual leave year.

    Lecturing staff and Research staff paid at salary Grade 9 and above

    Leave entitlement is 35 days paid holiday during the course of the leave year.  This paid leave is in addition to the statutory and Public Bank Holidays normally applicable in England and the University's concessionary days.  For part-time staff, the leave entitlement will be adjusted pro-rata.

    The timing of a member of staff’s holiday is subject to the agreement of the Line Manager. Subject to the organisational requirements of the University, a member of staff may request that up to six weeks of normal holiday entitlement be taken in one continuous period, and any such request should not be unreasonably refused.

    Wherever possible, detailed holiday schedules for individual lecturers should be made as soon as reasonably practicable after the beginning of each academic year, in determining holiday schedules.

    Associate Lecturers are paid in advance for their holidays and therefore do not receive any additional holiday entitlement. This is reflected in their hourly rate of payment.

    All Professional Services staff up to and including Grade 12 and Research staff up to and including those paid at grade 8

    Annual leave entitlement varies depending on length of service and grade.

    Annual leave entitlement is expressed in working days for those who work a 37 hours week, 52 weeks per year. Part-time employees receive annual leave on a pro-rata basis which is calculated in hours. Staff working compressed hours also calculate annual leave in hours.

    New employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave per year, rising to 26 days in the leave year in which the employee achieves 3 whole years of service, 27 days in the leave year in which the employee achieves 6 years of service and 28 days in the leave year in which the employee achieves 9 years of service.

    E.g. an employee who joined on 1 January 2014 will complete 3 years of service on 31 December 2016 and therefore their leave entitlement will increase to 26 days for the leave year 2016/17.

    This paid leave is in addition to the Statutory and Public Holidays normally applicable in England and the University’s concessionary days.

    Senior staff

    Leave entitlement is 30 working days paid holiday. This paid leave is in addition to the Statutory and Public Holidays normally applicable in England and the University’s concessionary days.

    Part-time employees and employees on compressed hours

    Employees who work part-time or compressed hours will have their  annual leave entitlement calculated in hours.  See link for details.

    Variable hours contracts

    Staff on variable hours contracts accrue a  number of minutes of annual leave for each hour they work.  For further details see annual leave for variable hours staff.

    Entitlements for new starters

    In the holiday year in which employment commences leave entitlement will be accrued on a pro-rata basis for service from start date to the end of the leave year. This includes part months.

    The formula for calculation of pro-rata annual leave (AL) entitlement is:

    • AL entitlement ÷ 12 = AL allocation per month
    • AL allocation per month * No. of completed months service in current year = amount of AL accrued for complete months worked

    Entitlements on termination of employment

    In the holiday year in which employment is terminated, annual leave entitlement will be accrued on a pro-rata basis for service from the start of the leave year until the end of the contract, this includes part months worked. (Service during maternity leave also counts).

    Employees are entitled to take any remaining leave entitlement prior to their departure. If there are valid reasons why this is not possible, he/she will be entitled to receive pay in lieu of the untaken leave.

    If an employee has taken leave in excess of that earned by service in the year, a deduction for the excess leave taken will be made from the final salary. The line manager is responsible for informing the HR Directorate about any payment required in lieu of annual leave or any deduction from salary required to take account of more annual leave being taken than had accrued during the annual leave year to date.

    Taking annual leave

    While employees have an entitlement to take leave, there is no right to take leave at any time an employee chooses. All periods of leave must be applied for, and approved, in advance by the relevant manager. Leave can be taken by mutual agreement and while it can be taken at any time of the year, staff can be encouraged not to take leave at certain times, eg. graduation, enrolment, clearning, semesters. The University reserves the right to refuse an application for leave or time off if it is necessary to maintain appropriate levels of service. If leave is refused, the line manager is obliged to allow leave to be taken at a later time. This could mean that, exceptionally, a member of staff may carry forward more than five days leave to the following leave year.

    Advance notice of annual leave must be given by employees, or by the University if it is required that annual leave is taken at a specified time. The notice period should be at least twice the period of the leave to be taken, although this may be shortened by mutual agreement.

    Staff should take all of their annual leave in the designated annual leave year. In exceptional circumstances, line managers may authorise the carry over of 5 days annual leave from one year to the next.  Pro VC Deans of Faculty/Directors may authorise the carry over of more than 5 days annual leave from one year to the next in very exceptional circumstances as long as it does not infringe on the minimum leave allowances set out by the working time regulations.

    Covid-19 update: annual leave

    Annual leave should continue to be booked and taken during this period and pre-booked annual leave taken wherever possible. 

    The University’s normal annual leave policy, in exceptional circumstances, of carrying over a maximum of up to five days leave from one year to the next (or pro-rata for staff who work part-time) remains in place.  However, at the current time academic staff are able to carry forward more than five days annual leave, up to a maximum of twenty days (dependent on each individual’s circumstances).  Therefore, they are able to take the additional time back over a two year period (August 2020 to July 2022).  

    Leave may be carried over where it is genuinely not possible for staff members to take it before the end of the leave year due to the impacts of Covid-19, however it is anticipated  that the amount carried over will be kept to a minimum to avoid knock-on impacts over the following years. Staff are therefore expected to make best efforts to use up their leave before the end of the current year and managers will not unreasonably prevent this.

    Annual leave enables staff to have a longer period of rest and should be planned and spread through the year so that staff can have adequate rest and not all be saved up and used in a short time period but instead spread out.  Staff are advised to plan ahead and have their annual leave booked in advance and spread out so that they are not in the position towards the end of the year with annual leave to take and only a short period in which to take it. Line managers should also be ensuring staff book periods of annual leave through the year and in advance to help them plan and manage the team commitments through the year and maintain suitable staffing levels.

    We trust that the majority of staff will be able to take some time out over the remainder of the leave year. It is important that staff who are working remotely get time away from their work even if they cannot leave home to go on holiday. It is recognised that there are some areas of the University where the pattern of work means that taking leave during particular months will be difficult. Therefore, due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus, the demands on some departments and occasionally, because the circumstances of individuals have temporarily changed, the University will manage the various scenarios that are presented in a reasonably practicable way.

    If there is a need to change pre-booked leave arrangements or to carry over more than five days annual leave then the member of staff should discuss this with their line manager who will consider the following:

    • The impact on the work area and current pressures
    • Exceptional personal circumstances
    • Other annual leave requests within the team
    • Predicted future demands in that work area

    The line manager will discuss the request with the Link HR Team for their area before making a decision and notifying the staff member. In the event of a dispute the PVC/Dean or Director will make the final decision

    If you have booked annual leave and are then placed on furlough, you will still take your annual leave during the furlough period.


    January 2021