For full details on this leave type please refer to the special leave policy.

Special Leave [pdf]

Download application form [Word]

Sabbatical leave for personal refreshment is available to all staff, who have completed their probation period, wishing to pursue interests outside of the College. 

Sabbatical leave for personal refreshment is unpaidExamples of sabbatical leave include:

  • An extended period of travel.
  • Complete a period of charity work.
  • Study that is not related to the individual’s role at the College - see study leave if it is related to your role.

An individual’s period of continuous service with the College will be protected during the period of Sabbatical leave for personal refreshment.

If you are working within the Faculty of Natural Sciences, please refer to the specific Sabbatical leave and leave of absence procedure.

Leave amount

No less than 3 months, no more than 12 months.

Sabbatical leave cannot be taken during your probation period however your service is counted towards the qualifying period. Any period of ‘Leave of Absence’ will not count towards the qualifying period.

If you are seeking to reduce your weekly working hours for external interests instead of a "one off" period of sabbatical leave, you may wish to look at the flexible working policy.

Requesting sabbatical leave for personal refreshment

Staff guidance


Complete the Leave of Absence / Sabbatical leave request , stating:

  • the purpose of your leave
  • the activities that you will carry out
  • the effect your absence would have on the department
  • how your duties will be covered during your period of leave

Send the completed form to your line manager who will consider your request in consultation with the appropriate Faculty Operating Officer / Head of Service. If your post is externally funded or part-funded, the relevant Research Services Team will also be consulted.


If your application is supported by your line manager and other required approvers, the completed form is forwarded to the Staff Hub so that arrangements can be confirmed in writing and the relevant parties are notified of the sabbatical leave. HR will update your absence records on your behalf.

Unsupported applications

While all applications will be considered, based on operational factors it may not be possible to approve all requests. The decision of the line manager and Faculty Operating Officer/Head of Service will be final, and there is no right to appeal against the decision.

During sabbatical leave

Sabbatical leave for personal refreshment is unpaid.

Annual leave

Where the period of unpaid leave extends beyond one month, the contractual annual leave entitlement will cease during this period and paid statutory holiday leave at the rate of 28 days per annum (pro rata for part time staff) will accrue, inclusive of 8 days for public holidays. See the Special Leave [pdf] policy for more information.


As the period of sabbatical leave for personal refreshment will be unpaid, no pension contributions will be made. See the  Special Leave [pdf]‌ policy for more information.

For more information on National insurance contributions, income tax and insurance cover during sabbatical leave, see the  Special Leave [pdf]‌ policy.

Manager guidance

Staff will forward the completed form to their line manager.

In considering applications for Sabbatical Leave, you must consult with the appropriate Faculty Operating Officer / Head of Service. If the applicant's post is funded or part-funded externally, the relevant Research Services Team should also be consulted before approving.

Supported by line manager

If you and the relevant approvers support the application, the form should be forwarded to the Staff Hub so that arrangements can be confirmed in writing, and the relevant parties notified of the Sabbatical Leave. HR will also update the individual’s TeamSeer absence management record accordingly. The Payroll and Pensions Teams, and Research Services, will also be notified as appropriate.

Unsupported by line manager

If you or other approvers do not support the application, this decision is final and the member of staff has no right to appeal the decision. 

Flexible working

If your employee is seeking regular time off to pursue external interests, you may wish to advise them on the College's flexible working policy.

See the Special Leave [pdf]‌ policy for more information on the correct procedure for the following during a staff member's sabbatical leave:

  • Pay
  • Annual leave
  • Pension
  • National insurance contributions
  • Income tax 
  • Insurance cover