Annual and Statutory Leave

The University of St Andrews is committed to supporting employees to achieve a healthy work-life balance and recognises the importance of annual leave in achieving this. 

If your School or Unit is using the online facility to inform entitlement and submit leave requests, please log into HR Self-Service. For those who are not yet online, please refer to the Guidance on booking and requesting annual leave (outwith HR Self-Service) for support on how to request annual leave and track days/hours taken. A full list of the Schools and Units who are online (PDF, 11 KB) is available for reference. We would like to encourage all areas to move to HR Self-Service, and would suggest initial discussion with your School/Unit Head.

All employees should read the Annual Leave Policy and FAQs below which provide guidance on requesting and taking annual leave, and information on statutory and University closure days. 

For information on statutory days, including a calculator for working out employee's annual statutory entitlement, please refer to the Statutory Leave webpage


Here you will find a selection of useful Frequently Asked Questions regarding annual and statutory leave. If you have further questions, please refer to the Annual Leave Policy or email Human Resources at

What is my annual leave entitlement?

Annual leave entitlement is driven by length of service and grade and is pro-rated for employees who work part-time. If an employee joins or leaves the University during the annual leave year, their annual leave will also be pro-rated to reflect this. A worked example on how to calculate annual leave for a part-time employee can be accessed in the calculating annual leave guidance (PDF, 355 KB)


My hours of work have changed during the annual leave year. Will my annual leave entitlement reflect this change?

Yes. If an employee changes their hours part way through the holiday year, HR will amend the employee’s holiday entitlement on HR Self-Service to reflect the new working hours, from the point that the working pattern changes. A worked example on how to calculate annual leave for an employee who has changed their hours of work during the annual leave year can be accessed in the calculating annual leave guidance (PDF, 355 KB).


I am a part-time employee and I am not scheduled to work on a statutory day. Am I entitled to take this day at another time?

Employees who work less than 36.25 hours will receive a pro-rated statutory leave entitlement. Any statutory days that fall on a working day are deducted from your entitlement. Any statutory days that fall on a non-working day are not deducted from your entitlement. A worked example on how to calculate statutory leave for a part-time employee can be accessed in the calculating statutory leave for part-time employees' guidance (PDF, 238 KB). In addition, you can download the annual statutory entitlement calculator to work-out your statutory leave entitlement by accessing the Statutory Leave webpage

Do I need to take full days annual leave?

No. Annual leave is calculated in hours for the majority of employees and therefore employees can take their annual leave in whatever manner they want they want e.g. part mornings/afternoons, providing that this fits with the needs and requirements of their School/Unit.

Can I carry over leave into the following holiday year?

Yes. Employees may carry over a maximum of 7 days/50.75 hours accrued annual leave into the next holiday year providing that the leave is taken by 31 December (pro-rated for part-time staff). Any holidays not taken by this day will be lost. In addition, approved annual leave that is scheduled but not yet taken will not count towards the carry over leave. e.g. an employee can have a 2-week annual leave vacation booked for August, using the previous year’s annual leave entitlement, and carry forward an additional 7-days of leave/50.75 hours (pro-rated for part-time staff), providing all leave is used by 31 December. Any leave pre-booked must be used as planned and cannot be added to the carry over i.e. if your vacation plans change, the leave must still be taken.

How do I calculate my team’s annual leave entitlement? (Line Manager)

Line managers can view their team’s annual leave entitlement through Self-Service. For line managers who do not use Self-Service, you should use the calculating annual leave guidance to assist you with this. This should be recalculated if the employee’s working pattern changes at any time. 


Additional FAQs for employees

Annual leave entitlements

What is the holiday year?

The annual leave year runs from 1 August to 31 July inclusive.

I work compressed hours, what is my annual leave entitlement?

Annual leave entitlement does not change; however, it will be expressed in hours only to reflect the fact that you may work fewer days than those on standard work patterns and that some working days may be longer than others. 

I have more than one post at the University, how is my annual leave calculated?

If you have more than one post at the University, your entitlement is split between these posts and the line manager who approves time off for the posts may be different. You will need to ensure that when you request leave in the system, you do so against the correct post. If, for example, you want to take a week off and you normally work 20 hours in post A and 10 hours in post B, you will need to submit two separate requests.

Requesting annual leave

What is a reasonable amount of notice to request annual leave?

It is encouraged that employees give their line manager at least twice the length of the period of leave to be taken. E.g. if you are requesting 1 week’s annual leave, you should request this at least 2 weeks in advance. Local arrangements may vary dependent on operational requirements.

Can the University force employees to take annual leave at a specific time?

Yes. A line manager can request that you take a period of annual leave at a certain time in the year providing that appropriate notice is provided. The length of the required notice is at least twice the period of leave that the employee is required to take. Local arrangements may vary dependent on operational requirements.

Can my manager refuse holiday requests?

Yes. Requests are most frequently refused where a number of other employees have already applied to take the same period off, where the time requested is during a peak business period or where specific deadlines occur.

Sickness during annual leave

Will I get my annual leave hours back if I go off sick during my holidays?

You must provide a fit note/medical certificate (from a medical practitioner) to your line manager covering the days you were sick to be reimbursed the untaken annual leave.

I am on sickness absence during a statutory day, am I entitled to receive the time back for this day?

No. Statutory leave cannot be carried forward and will therefore not be re-added to your entitlement if you are absent due to sickness during a statutory day.

Leaving the University

What happens to my annual leave if I leave the University?

Ideally, any accrued and untaken leave should be used prior to your end date. Where this is not viable e.g. due to business requirements, the accrued but untaken annual leave will be calculated as a cash value and paid into your final salary. Any annual leave that you have taken but have not accrued will be calculated as a cash value and deducted from your final pay. Some contracts of employment will require staff to take their accrued annual leave prior to their last date. Employees must refer to their contracts of employment to clarify what arrangements have been agreed.


Can I receive a payment for untaken holidays instead of taking them?

No. The Working Time Regulations confirm that payment cannot replace the taking of annual leave, except where the employment is ending.

FAQs for Line Managers

One of my employees has called in sick during their annual leave, what do I do?

The employee will be regarded as being on sick leave from the date that they advise you of this. You must report the sickness through Self-Service. Only certified sick days (covered by a fit note/medical certificate) can be reclaimed as annual leave, excluding statutory days. You should remind your employee of this when they report their absence to you, if appropriate.

An employee, who is currently on sick leave, has requested to take a period of annual leave. Are they entitled to this?

Yes. If an employee requests to take a period of annual leave whilst on certified sickness absence, you must contact your HR Business Partner. Self-Service will need to be updated (where applicable) and HR Salaries ( notified to ensure accurate payment. 

How do I approve my employees’ annual leave?

Line managers can approve their team’s annual leave requests through Self-Service. A user guide has been created to explain how to authorise annual leave, review annual leave entitlements, and view your team’s calendar which displays all annual leave booked in the system.

For line managers who do not use Self-Service, you should refer to the document: Guidance on booking and requesting annual leave (outwith HR Self-Service) (PDF, 60 KB) for further information.

I have a team of staff who are requesting the same time of the year to take annual leave. How do I manage this?

If too many employees are requesting the same period of leave, you will need to consider how you will manage these requests e.g. on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis. It is recommended that line managers discuss annual leave as a team and develop a team calendar/rota so that annual leave requests can be managed and distributed fairly across the department. It will be the responsibility of each School/Unit to manage these arrangements locally.

One of my employees has handed in their resignation and has annual leave outstanding. What is the process?

Employees should take any accrued but untaken leave during their notice period/prior to their last day of employment. This must be recorded accurately on Self-Service by HR cut-off. If HR Self-Service is not used to record annual leave, the line manager will be responsible for notifying HR Salaries ( of the leave to be taken during the notice period by HR cut-off.

What if an employee refuses to take annual leave?

In the event that an employee refuses to take a break from work, to maintain a healthy work-life balance, the line manager can enforce this by providing appropriate notice to the employee to take their annual leave (at least twice the period of leave that the line manager is enforcing).

My department is currently experiencing a period of exceptionally heavy workload due to a pressing deadline. One of my team has requested annual leave when we need everyone to be at work. Can I decline the leave on this basis?

Yes. Leave requests should be reviewed and considered taking account of business needs; therefore, if it is not appropriate for an employee to be on leave due to specific work commitments during a time-limited period, you can decline the request and provide a reason to the employee.

Someone in my team has requested to cancel their annual leave; however, I have already planned cover/rearranged rotas to accommodate the leave. Can I decline the request to cancel the leave?

Yes. The line manager is not obliged to agree to a request by the employee to cancel the leave however wherever possible, the line manager should consider if this can be accommodated. You are responsible for considering the request, assessing the business needs balanced with the employee needs and making a decision based on the facts.

One of my staff members is moving to a new role within the University. What happens to their annual leave accrual?

Wherever possible, taking into account the needs of the School/Unit and the employee, you should ensure that the employee takes at least some of their accrued annual leave before moving into the new role, particularly when the employee has a significant amount of accrued leave left to take.