Employees in the UK have a statutory entitlement to 28 days’ paid holiday per year. The University gives its employees an enhanced entitlement to 38 days’ annual leave per year (pro-rata for part-time staff), inclusive of bank holidays and fixed closure days. Employees with more than five years’ continuous service are also entitled to additional ‘long service’ leave. This generous annual leave entitlement allows staff flexibility to use holiday entitlement both for restorative breaks and to take time away from work to deal with family, caring or other commitments.
Some staff, for example those with caring responsibilities for dependent relatives, may need to take frequent annual leave days in order to deal with care commitments and, as a result, may find that the standard leave entitlement does not leave them sufficient annual leave to take restorative breaks themselves.
The University therefore offers an Additional Annual Leave scheme, through which staff can request up to 10 additional days’ annual leave in each holiday year. Where approved, this additional leave is then added to the annual leave entitlement for the year and used in the same way as standard annual leave. The cost of the additional days’ leave can either be met by a salary reduction at the time that the leave is taken, or through an arrangement whereby the leave can be exchanged against salary over a period of up to 12 months (salary sacrifice), in order to reduce the impact of the salary reduction.
For operational reasons not all departments are able to offer this scheme, or to offer the full 10 days.
Note: Covid-19 – special arrangements
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic staff who have signed up for the scheme for the current holiday year may now find that, due to Covid-19, they are unable to use the additional leave they had requested. Under the terms of the scheme, due to the exceptional circumstances, they can cancel the arrangement for the rest of the year. Unfortunately, as the Additional Annual Leave scheme is run as a salary exchange it is not possible to cancel the arrangement retrospectively and any additional annual leave already ‘purchased’ through the scheme will remain on the individual’s holiday entitlement for the current year. In the event that staff are unable to use all the additional annual leave they have already accrued then, exceptionally, this can be carried forward into the 2020/21 holiday year. However, any further AAL request for the 2020/21 year will only be agreed if the number of days requested, when added to the balance brought forward, do not bring the total of AAL for the year to more than 10 days in total.
Staff wishing to cancel their additional annual leave agreement should email their local departmental administrator/HAF or HR contact using the following wording:
“I [full name] wish to cancel my Additional Annual Leave salary sacrifice agreement with effect from the 1st of [month].”
The departmental HR contact should then calculate the amount of leave accrued through the scheme to date and forward the email instruction from the employee to the relevant Payroll contact for action in the next available payroll (bearing in mind that the payroll cut off is on, or around, the 10th of the month). If an instruction to cancel the arrangement is received by the Payroll team after the deadline in the month that the employee wishes to cancel their agreement, then the payroll team will cancel the arrangement from the 1st of the following month, and will notify the departmental HR contact of this change.