Annual Leave Policy


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. 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.

Annual Leave Entitlement

  • Senior Staff = 30 days
  • Lecturers and Research staff Grade 9 and above = 35 days

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 together with statutory Public Holidays and local discretionary holidays.  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.

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

To calculate AL entitlement for a part month:

Count the number of hours work during the part month and multiply by 8.8 minutes. This will give the amount of AL earned in minutes for the part month.

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 payin lieu of the untaken leave.

If an employee has taken leave in excess of beyond 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.