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Types of staff leave

This page outlines the different types of leave available to you as a member of staff.


Annual leave

Your annual leave entitlement is outlined in your contract of employment.

Find out more about annual leave scheme, your entitlements and how to book time off.

Compassionate leave

At the discretion of your line manager, you can take up to five days' paid leave for the death of an immediate family member (including attendance at the funeral). This will be pro-rated if you work part time part time. If you need additional time beyond this to travel to the funeral, you should apply for annual leave through your line manager.

Maternity leave

Find out more about our maternity policy and what you need to do when you are pregnant.

Paternity leave

Find out more about our paternity policy and how to apply for leave.

Parental leave

Find out more about our parental leave scheme, and how to apply for leave.

Shared parental leave

Find out more about our shared parental leave policy and procedure.

Adoption or surrogacy leave

Find out more about our adoption and surrogacy policy and what you need to do when you wish to adopt a child.

IVF treatment

Find out more about your entitlement to time off to undertake IVF treatment.

Dependant care leave

Staff can take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work to deal with an emergency involving their dependants, and to make any necessary longer-term arrangements. The length of time will vary according to the circumstances but in most cases, one or two days is usually sufficient.

A dependant is defined as the husband, wife, child, or parent of a member of staff. It also includes someone who lives in the same household, for example, a partner or an elderly relative or anyone who depends on you for arrangements for care or assistance.

You may take unpaid time off under the following circumstances:

  • if a dependant falls ill or has been injured or assaulted

  • when a dependant is having a baby

  • to support a dependant who has a disability

  • to make longer term care arrangements for a dependent who is ill or injured

  • to deal with the death of a dependant

  • to deal with an unexpected disruption or breakdown in care arrangements, such as a child minder or nurse failing to turn up

  • to deal with an unexpected incident involving their child during school hours, for example, if the child has been injured, suspended or involved in a fight

If you need to take time off, please notify your line manager as soon as possible. You’ll need to let them know the reason for the absence and give an indication of how much time off you might require. We’ll try to reduce the amount of unpaid leave you need to take by looking at rearranging working hours or using flexitime.

Sabbatical leave

Sabbatical leave is a period of release from normal academic duties in order to pursue research, for teaching development, knowledge transfer or other activities of benefit to the University. Academic staff (lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, professors) on a permanent academic contract can apply for sabbatical leave. Entitlement to sabbatical leave is not automatic but based on the merits of a proposal and the strategic needs of the Department.

Find out more about our sabbatical leave scheme and how to apply

Career breaks

We are committed to allowing staff to request an unpaid extended period away from work to meet their personal needs, such as taking care of dependants, long-term full-time study of relevance to your job, or to travel. The scheme applies to all staff employed in an open-ended contract who have a minimum of five years' continuous service when they apply. The granting of a career break is subject to the agreement of your Head of Department and line manager, after consultation with Human Resources.

Find out more about our career break scheme and how to apply.

Trade union duties

Staff carrying out trade union duties or approved training in line with our Trade Union Recognition and Facilities Agreement can take reasonable time off with pay during working hours.

Jury service or trial witness

We usually allow leave for staff called to attend court for either jury service or as a witness during a trial.

If you're called for jury duty, you'll need to keep your line manager regularly informed about how long you are likely to be away from work. If the jury service lasts for less than half a day, you will need to return to work for the remainder of the day, where possible. Line managers need to email the Payroll Manager and let them know the jury service dates of their staff.

You will be paid an advance by the University during jury service and as a trial witness but should still complete the form provided by the court entitling you to claim for loss of earnings, together with travel and subsistence as appropriate. The completed form should then be passed to the court. When this is paid by the court, you will receive a receipt (Certificate of Loss of Earnings or Benefit) from the court showing the amount of payments received under the various headings. This should be forwarded to Payroll who will deduct the benefits received from the court accordingly. These provisions do not apply to staff appearing as an expert witness on a paid basis.

Time off in Lieu (TOIL)

This is leave which is taken in compensation for additional hours worked at the specific request of your line manager. This would normally be in relation to a specific activity or piece of work. Ideally, TOIL should be taken within one month of being accrued. It should not be confused with accrued hours built up through flexi-time.

Civic and public duties

All staff are allowed up to a maximum of ten working days' paid leave in any twelve month period (pro-rated for part time staff) subject to the requirements of the service, to carry out public duties as one of the following:

  • a magistrate or justice of the peace (14 working days paid leave)

  • a local councillor

  • a school governor

  • a member of any statutory tribunal (such as an employment tribunal)

  • a member of the managing or governing body of an education establishment

  • a member of a school council

  • a member of the General Teaching Councils for England and Wales

  • a member of the Environment Agency

  • a member of the prison independent monitoring boards

  • a member of a Water Customer Consultation Panel

  • or public duties of a similar nature

Further government guidance is available.

Please contact Human Resources to discuss any public duties which are not listed above, but which may be considered to be comparable.

Non-regular forces

If you are a volunteer member of Non-Regular Forces (for example, the Territorial Army) who attends summer camp, you will normally be granted ten working days paid leave per year in addition to your normal annual leave entitlement. Territorial Army members have special employment protection if called up.

You should advise your line manager and Human Resources before first entering into such commitments and discuss the extent of the commitment and the implications for your work. Evidence of membership will need to be provided. Paid leave of absence should be approved and recorded in the usual way.

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