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Human Resources


Staff are encouraged to take their annual leave as normal and within the current leave year wherever possible. Regular annual leave is important because we all need to take time out to rest and recuperate, particularly at this time. Staff are also reminded not to cancel leave without line manager consent. 

Carry forward provisions

There are currently special carry forward provisions in place to support staff:

  1. Staff that were not able to take all of their leave entitlement in the 2019/2020 leave due to circumstances related to coronavirus are entitled to carry forward any leave remaining at the end of the 2019/2020 leave year, 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 were asked to defer annual leave to undertake critical coronavirus-related work.
  • Staff that had to take sick leave as a result of coronavirus.
  1. For all other staff, an exceptional and temporary increase to normal carry forward provisions was agreed by the University, which allows the carry forward of up to 10 days* of untaken annual leave from the leave year 2019/2020 to use by the end of the leave year 2020/2021 (removing the normal 3 month limit for this year only). Any carry over should be prorated in the normal way. Please note the following:

* Due to the enhanced arrangements for the December 2020 closure period, Institutions with non-standard leave years (for example, those that run from January to December) should allow staff to carry over up to 14 days into the next leave year, where necessary.

Enhanced arrangements for the December 2020 closure period

In recognition of the significant pressures that staff have been under due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has enhanced the arrangements for the December 2020 closure period as follows:

  • 24 December 2020 will be an additional closure day; and
  • Staff will not be required to use annual leave to cover the closure days (24, 29, 30 and 31 December 2020) and will therefore benefit from being able to use the days that would normally have been deducted at another time in the leave year.

Staff that are required to work during closure days due to essential operations will be able to take the equivalent number of days worked on the closure days at another time in the leave year. The University gives particular thanks to staff undertaking this important work. 

Please see additional information about the arrangements and operational details here.

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 carry over provisions above would also apply. 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.

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

Government public health measures for arrivals into the UK came 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, including the impact on annual leave requests, can be found on the HR webpages.

Last updated: 3 December 2020