Guidance for managers and staff

The College is committed to supporting staff and recognises there may be occasions when staff need to request time off work for domestic and test personal reasons, or are required to be absent for essential civil and public duties. The College has a range of additional leave options available to help strike an appropriate balance between paid work and personal life. A range of special leave options are summarised on the summary tables below to help managers and staff understand the requirements and achieve an appropriate balance between work and personal commitments.

 Any special leave granted is always on the provision that it is subject to the operational needs of the work area of the particular staff member and normally requires prior permission.

It is recognised that it is not possible to cover all circumstances where special leave may be appropriate, therefore for specific or exceptional circumstances, please contact your local HR representative for further advice.

For further guidance, please refer to the summary of special and other leave which is set out below.

The College treats equality of opportunity seriously and has an equality framework to ensure equality of opportunity.  Implementation of the Special Leave policy must be clear and transparent and not subject to any unfair discriminatory practices by line managers.

This guidance has been designed to act as a point of reference.  For further details please refer to the full policy which can be downloaded from this page's sidebar.

Roles and responsibilites

Summary tables of leave types

Family related leave summary table

 
Family related leave
Type of leaveMaximum amount of leave for eligible staff (per year unless otherwise stated)Manager guidelines/conditionsStaff guide/conditions
Compassionate Leave
Compassionate leave covers bereavement of a close family member. It is granted according to the circumstances.
Up to five paid working days (within 12 month period) pro-rata for part time staff Review the request and approve or decline, taking the following into consideration, as appropriate and as reasonably practicable:
  • The relationship and caring responsibilities between the individual and the employee
  • Whether the employee is involved in making funeral arrangements
  • Whether there may be a requirement to travel or attend a funeral
  • Operational needs and demands at that time and the capacity to make alternative arrangements to cover duties
Full details are set out in the Special Leave Policy, or for further advice or to discuss exceptional circumstances, please contact your HR  representative
 Compassionate leave is normally granted to an employee who:  ·        Requires compassionate leave due to the death of a dependent or close relative  A ‘close relative’ is defined as a spouse or partner, child, stepchild, grandchild, parent, step-parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, brother or sister, stepbrother or stepsister, or brother or sister-in-law?
Further advice is available from your HR representative
Domestic Emergencies e.g. burglary, vehicle theft/accident, emergency home/services repairs and other similar circumstances

Up to one day paid in any 12 month period

Review the request and approve or decline. Arrangements for additional leave are to be agreed with manager as reasonably practical, e.g. annual leave or unpaid leave 

Emergency leave covers genuine unforeseen emergences for reasons connected with unexpected domestic or other emergencies. It is granted according to the circumstances.
Family emergencies
Emergency leave covers genuine unforeseen emergencies for reasons connected with dependents
Up to three paid working days per annum Review request and approve or decline

It is usually granted according to the circumstances. Inform manager as soon as practical with reason and length of time away requested.

In exceptional circumstances, staff may have returned to work before it is possible to contact their manager. Staff should still inform their manager of the reason for their absence when they return.

Parental leave (women/men) A total of 18 weeks leave for each child under the age of 18 years. Normally a maximum of 4 weeks can be taken in any year in respect of each child.

Review application.  If the member of staff is eligible the request cannot be refused.  You may postpone a request for leave where granting leave at that time would severely disrupt normal operation, with the exeption of requests that immediately follow the birth or adoption of a child.

Parental responsibility for child and on completion of one full year’s service prior to request
 
summary

Personal related leave summary table


Personal related leave
Type of leaveMaximum amount of leave for eligible staff (per year unless otherwise stated)Manager guidelines/conditionsStaff guide/conditions

Sabbatical leave for academic refreshment

Various, up to three terms maximum, and may be paid or unpaid

Review application form and forward to Head of Department

Pursue research interests, scholarship or other acceptable activities related to primary employment by College
Leave of Absence / Sabbatical leave request

Sabbatical leave for personal refreshment

Between three and 12 months (unpaid)

Review application form and forward to Head of Department

Undertake extended period of travel, complete a period of charity work, or undertake a course of study not related to role
Leave of Absence / Sabbatical leave request
Unpaid leave
 

 Various (unpaid)

Review request and approve or decline

Unpaid leave / study leave request
Study leave

 Up to three paid days

Review request and approve or decline

Arrangements should be agreed with line manager e.g. annual leave or unpaid leaveUnpaid leave / study leave request Study loan scheme
Leave of absence Various and normally unpaid Review request and forward to Head of Department. Exceptional circumstances, the period may be paid or part paid
 
summary

Civil related leave summary table

Civil related leave
Type of leaveMaximum amount of leave for eligible staff (per year unless otherwise stated)Manager guidelines/conditionsStaff guide/conditions
 Jury service Duration of the Jury Service as directed by the courts
Up to four weeks unless granted exemption (paid)  
 Review Provide evidence
 Witness duty  As required by the Court Service  Review  Provide evidence
 Volunteer Reserve Forces Service Ten days within any 12 month period
Up to 12 months if mobilised
 Review Provide evidence
Leave for public duties / service in the Volunteer Reserve Forces [doc]
Civil related leave

Calculating Annual Leave for periods of extended unpaid leave, Leave of Absence or Sabbaticals

Where a period of unpaid leave, Leave of Absence or Sabbatical for Academic or Personal Refreshment extends beyond one month and contractual annual leave will not accrue the following calculation should be used for determining the paid statutory entitlement during the leave period:

For the unpaid leave period, paid statutory leave at the rate of 28 days per annum (pro rata for part-time staff) inclusive of 8 days for public holidays will accrue. 

The example set out below shows how leave should be calculated across a leave year when a period of absence is taken from 1 May to 30 November:

  • Period prior to leave - 1 February to 30 April = 3 Months
    • 25 days holiday x 3/12 = 6.25 days holiday
    • 14 (or 15) mandatory days x 3/12 = 3.5 mandatory days
    • Total contractual annual leave = 6.25 + 3.5 = 9.75 days
  • Leave period 1 May to 30 November = 7 months
    • 20 days holiday x 7/12 months = 11.67 days holiday
    • 8 public holiday days x 7/12 months = 4.67 days public holiday days
    • Total statutory annual leave = 11.67 + 4.67 = 16.34 days
  • Period following leave 1 December to 31 January = 2 months
    • 25 days holiday x 2/12 = 4.16 days holiday
    • 14 (or 15) mandatory days x 2/12 = 2.34 mandatory days
    • Total contractual annual leave = 4.16 + 2.34 = 6.5 days
  • Annual leave total for year 9.75 + 16.34 + 6.5 = 32.59 33 days rounded up to nearest half day.

Staff may add any public holidays that fall during their unpaid leave period to their holiday leave and take as normal. Please note however that staff whose pro-rata Mandatory Leave entitlement exceeds the number of Mandatory days they need to take prior to/following their unpaid leave period may add the balance to their Holiday Leave entitlement. Conversely, staff who have an insufficient pro-rata Mandatory Leave entitlement to cover these days will be required to take the balance from their Holiday Leave entitlement.

As the majority of staff are employed on standard terms & conditions linked to a Job Family, the following calculations are made on the basis of the standard full-time Holiday Leave entitlement of 25 days and Mandatory Leave entitlement of 14/15 days (dependant on the day Christmas falls). Staff on other terms & conditions (details of which can be found in the Holiday and mandatory leave entitlements by terms and conditions document) should substitute the appropriate number of Holiday Leave or Mandatory Leave days into the relevant formula for contractual leave.

Further support

Support and full guidance are set out in the Special Leave [pdf] policy.

Further support is also available from Occupational Health, Confidential Care, and the College’s independent Employee Assistance provider.