As is the case with maternity, adoption and paternity leave, employees on SPL will continue to accrue annual leave whilst on SPL.
It is not possible for an employee to take annual leave at the same time as SPL, but departments may ask an employee to take any accrued annual leave prior to their SPL. Departments may also ask that an employee takes at least 28 days' annual leave (the annual statutory holiday requirement) before they go on SPL, if they will not return to work before the end of the current annual leave year.
In the event that a SPL period crosses over two annual leave years, departments may ask an employee returning to work to use up the balance of their annual leave from the leave year that has ended at the end of the SPL period. Alternatively, the accrued leave can be taken at the end of SPL, if agreed with the department in advance.
Departments retain the right to make annual leave arrangements with their employees to fit in with operational requirements. Employees must agree when they will take annual leave in advance with their department.
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