Managing arrangements for taking annual leave

April 27th, 2020

The COVID-19 response has had wide ranging impacts on the plans that many University staff had for taking annual leave in the 19/20 year.

Colleagues should take the following approaches to taking annual leave as appropriate:

All Staff (except Key Workers)

Employees should continue to take annual leave for the purposes of rest, recuperation and to support their wellbeing.

For the 19/20 leave year staff will be able to carry over up to:

  • five days annual leave (pro-rata for part-time employees) without the usual requirement for exceptional consent
  • AND may request to carry over up to a further five days (pro-rata for part-time employees) on an exceptional basis in agreement with their line manager who will need to get agreement from the PVC or Director of Service or nominee. This should only be applicable in rare and exceptional situations where an employee has been unable to take their leave because they have been providing essential support for the emergency situation over an extended period (but are not Key Workers as defined by the government).

Where annual leave is carried over staff need to agree with their line manager when they are able to take their annual leave in the leave year 2020-2021 to ensure operational requirements can be met.

When the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, and there is a return to normal work, there would be significant operational difficulties if employees had banked all of their leave to take later in the leave year.

We therefore ask staff who are able to (i.e. with consideration for operational requirements), to take annual leave as they normally would – with the aim of spreading this throughout the remainder of the leave year.

The University reserves the right to request staff take leave at certain points (with notice given) if a trend in the ongoing accrual of leave is identified without prior management agreement.

Key Workers

Some University employees are Key Workers as defined by the government, directly supporting the Government’s emergency response to COVID-19 eg Clinical Academics.

Key Workers are encouraged to take their leave in the 19/20 leave year where possible but where it is not the University will apply and extend the provisions allowed for in the Government’s Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

Staff identified as being in this group may carry over any untaken statutory and contractual annual leave accrued but not taken in 19/20 to be taken over the next two leave years.

Leave which is carried over must be taken by the end of September 2022/December 2022 (depending on which normal leave year applies in their contract of employment).

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May 6th, 2020 at 4:03 pm


Please could you explain how annual leave is affected for members of staff who are on furlough.
Thank you

May 14th, 2020 at 11:43 am

Cyrus M

Hi Joanne. We’ve passed your message onto our HR team, who should be getting in touch soon. Thanks.

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