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Annual leave guidance

It is recommended that all Schools/Units have a formal mechanism for requesting and recording annual leave. A sample form which can be used to request annual leave can be found in Appendix A. To record annual leave, the use of a spreadsheet is recommended. Human Resources hopes to introduce an online system of recording annual leave in the future.

The annual leave year runs from 1 August to 31 July each year. Holidays not taken by 31 December following the end of the leave year will be lost. The University requires staff to retain 3 days annual leave for the closure between Christmas and New Year. A copy of the annual leave table for each grade can be found in Appendix B. The final decision over whether or not annual leave is approved lies with the Head of School/Unit who should make sure that all members of staff within the School/Unit are aware of the person with delegated responsibility for authorising their annual leave. Those responsible for approving annual leave should ensure the following:-

  • That members of staff, where possible, take the holiday entitlement due to them in the annual leave year period. Only in exceptional circumstances should leave be allowed to be carried beyond 31 December. Please note that statutory days cannot be carried forward (25, 26 Dec, 1, 2 Jan, May Day).  Part time staff are entitled to the pro rata equivalent of the 5 statutory days.
  • In Schools/Units where it is problematic for staff to take annual leave during the semester, staff should be notified of this. However, when such a request is unavoidable, if there is adequate cover, such requests should be considered and accommodated where possible.
  • Likewise, where leave cannot be granted at a given time e.g. graduation, staff must be informed of this from the outset.
  • Annual leave within each School/Unit should be co-ordinated to ensure that staff cover is always available unless a complete closure of the School/Unit/University is to take place.
  • Whoever approves annual leave should ensure that they notify all relevant parties who will be affected (colleagues, students, etc) and that a record is kept.
  • Local rules, compatible with operational requirements, should be established so that all colleagues requesting leave of intervals of a week or more, are required to make the request in advance e.g. four weeks' notice before taking one week of annual leave, six weeks' notice before taking two weeks' annual leave.
  • Where clashes arise over requests, people with school children or other caring responsibilities will generally be given priority during school holiday periods.
  • Appropriate procedures are put in place to cover work during holiday periods.

All forms and guidance are available from the Human Resources website. If you have any queries, please contact Human Resources on ext 3096 or e-mail