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Human Resources


Discussions with staff including carry forward provisions

  • Staff should be encouraged to take their annual leave as normal between now and the end of the current leave year wherever possible, though it may be divided into more than one period of leave. This is important because staff need to take time out to rest and recuperate, particularly during a period where they may be experiencing increased levels of anxiety. However, managers should be aware of the following carry forward provisions in place:
  1. Staff that cannot take all of their leave entitlement by the end of the current leave year due to circumstances related to coronavirus will be entitled to carry forward any leave remaining at the end of the current leave year (2019/2020), to use by the end of the leave year 2021/2022. This provision was brought in by the Government as a temporary COVID-19 measure and applies specifically to:
  • Staff that have been asked to defer annual leave to undertake critical coronavirus-related research and, as a result, do not have the opportunity to take all remaining annual leave before the end of the current leave year.
  • Staff that have had to take sick leave as a result of coronavirus.
  1. Where the above does not apply, staff are encouraged to utilise their annual leave in the current leave year wherever possible, so that they can benefit from the break from work. However, in light of the current COVID-19 situation the University has agreed an exceptional and temporary increase to current carry forward provisions, which allows the carry forward of up to 10 days of untaken annual leave from the current leave year (2019/2020) into the next leave year (2020/2021). Any carry over should be prorated in the normal way.
  • Given that the above arrangements are likely to result in an increased number of staff carrying forward leave than usual, staff are asked to discuss annual leave plans with their managers at the earliest opportunity. Managers will need to ensure that annual leave requests are managed within teams in a fair and equitable way and planned around business critical needs.
  • Staff have also been encouraged to speak with their managers as part of the annual leave information on the Coronavirus webpages (see the section titled 'Annual Leave'). Staff are also reminded not to cancel leave without line manager consent. 

Asking staff to defer leave

  • Certain staff may be asked to defer annual leave to enable business critical functions to continue to operate during this period and/or to assist in the effort to combat COVID-19 (for example, researchers involved in COVID-19-related research or staff at the School of Clinical Medicine who are involved in direct care of affected patients).
  • Any deferral should be discussed and agreed with staff. They should only be asked to defer leave where absolutely necessary and should be permitted to rearrange that leave as soon as reasonably practicable. The University has a duty of care to look after the health and wellbeing of its staff and it is important that staff take time away from work to recuperate and recharge.
  • As mentioned above, where it has not been reasonably practicable for these staff to take leave by the end of their current leave year as a result of the effects of coronavirus, they will be entitled to carry forward any untaken leave into the following two leave years (2020/2021 and 2021/2022).

New public health measures for all UK arrivals from 8 June 2020 (quarantine) - impact on annual leave 

New government public health measures for arrivals into the UK come into effect from 8 June 2020, applying to all nationalities and regardless of the length of time away from the UK. Guidance for University staff and managers, inlcuding the impact on annual leave requests, can be found on the HR webpages.

Last updated: 4 June 2020