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Leave for personal or family reasons

Annual leave

Under the Working Time Regulations, all staff are entitled to take a minimum of 24 days annual leave with pay each academic year. From 1 April 2009 this will increase to 28 days. However the standard University holiday entitlement for academic-related staff is 33 days for those working full-time (based on a five-day working week, and pro-rata for part-time) plus any public holidays that that fall in the normal working week. Periods of University closure, other than public holidays will be taken as part of the annual leave. The remaining leave is taken at times that suit both the individual and his or her institution. Your local administrator will explain your institution's procedure for approving annual leave. For more information or advice, contact the Human Resources Division, or see your contract of employment.

Note: There is no entitlement to carry over any holiday from one academic year to the next or to receive pay in lieu of holiday not taken.

Sickness Absence Reporting Procedure

If you cannot attend work due to ill-health you should notify your manager (or a designated person within your Institution) of your absence by telephone as soon as possible on the first day of absence and, normally, before the start of their normal working day. Full details of the sickness absence reporting procedure can be found in the Sickness Absence Policy.

On your return to work you should complete a Self-Certification Form (CHRIS 62) for absences up to seven calendar days. For absences of eight calendar days or more you must provide a Statement of Fitness for Work (or ‘Fit Note’) from a doctor. Further information regarding sickness absence certification can be found in the Sickness Absence Policy.

Sources of Information

Management of Sickness Absence

Sick Pay Entitlement


Maternity leave

All pregnant staff are currently entitled to 52 weeks maternity leave, during which you receive full pay (including Statutory Maternity Pay) for the first 18 weeks, unless they opt to receive SMP only. For the remaining period of their leave, they will receive the balance of their entitlement to Statutory Maternity Pay, or Maternity Allowance if appropriate.

Staff seeking maternity leave are advised to follow the guidance set out on the Human Resources Division website:

Graduated return from maternity leave

When you return from maternity leave, you may begin work on a part-time basis of a minimum of 20% (1 day per week), rising to at least 50% (2.5 days per week) within 12 months of your initial return to work. For more information, see the University Maternity Policy and Procedure (above) or contact the Human Resources Division.


A member of staff who adopts a child may be entitled to adoption leave and pay (including Statutory Adoption leave and pay, where applicable). Only one of the adoptive parents may take adoption leave. Couples who adopt jointly may choose which partner takes adoption leave. The other member of the couple may be entitled to paternity leave and pay. For more information, see the University adoption policy and procedure or contact the Human Resources Division.

Paternity leave

All staff who are new fathers, whether they are the biological father of a child or the mother's husband or partner, with responsibility for the child's upbringing are entitled to 2 weeks' paternity leave (including Statutory Paternity leave and pay, where applicable). Leave should be taken within 56 days of the birth.

Members of staff, of either sex, adopting a child but not taking adoption leave may also be entitled to paternity leave.

If you wish to take paternity leave, you may apply on form CHRIS/65, which is available online or from the Human Resources Division.

Shared Parental Leave

The University has a shared parental leave policy which applies to all employees whose child is born or placed on or after 5 April 2015 and who meet the statutory requirements.

Eligible employees will be entitled to take up to a maximum of 50 weeks shared parental leave, consisting of 18 weeks’ paid leave (minus any period of paid maternity/adoption/paternity leave they have already received) during which they will receive their normal rate of pay, followed by up to 19 weeks statutory shared parental leave pay (if entitled) and up to 13 weeks unpaid.

Staff seeking to take shared parental leave are advised to follow the guidance set out on the Human Resources Division website:

Compassionate leave

If you are faced with a domestic, caring emergency of any sort, such as the serious illness of a dependant, and you need time off work, talk to your local administrator. You may be allowed paid compassionate leave, depending on the circumstances. Leave for more than a few days will normally need formal approval; advice is available from the Human Resources Division.

If the leave is for just a day or two, you may be entitled to take time off for a family emergency under the provisions of the Employment Relations Act, 1999 (see next section).

Parental leave and emergency time off for dependents

All employees who have a year's service have a statutory right to both emergency time off and parental leave under the Employment Relations Act 1999. Under the emergency leave regulations, you may take time off for reasons connected with your dependents in certain defined situations. Under the parental leave regulations, you may be entitled to take up to 18 weeks' unpaid time off to look after a child or to make arrangements for the child's welfare.

If you need to take such leave, you should inform your head of institution as soon as possible. Full details of emergency time off for dependents and an application form for Parental leave CHRIS/66 (formerly PLAF), plus guidance notes, are on the web. Advice is also available from the Human Resources Division.

In addition to this statutory provision heads of institution have discretion to grant compassionate leave where circumstances justify so doing (see above).

Leave for academic or professional reasons

The University's policy on unpaid leave of absence for academic purposes is set out in the Notice on Leave of Absence granted under Statute D, II, 6 (b) in Statutes and Ordinances.

This type of leave is applicable if you are invited to take up a prestigious visiting appointment at another academic institution, or if you are awarded an externally funded research fellowship to undertake particular research. In such cases, the sponsor should fund your salary.

Secondment leave is available if you are asked to contribute to the work of another organisation (e.g. a government, national agency, charity, or commercial company), and the cost of your salary is met by the host organisation.

In all cases, the leave must be in the academic interests of the institution and supported by the Faculty Board.

Requests for approval of leave by the General Board or Council must be made to the Human Resources Division on the application form CHRIS/67 (formerly LAF1), which is available online.

Sabbatical leave

All University officers falling under Schedule J are eligible for sabbatical leave under Statute D, II, 5. Certain other offices are also eligible for study leave. Your contract of employment will indicate if you are eligible.

Sabbatical leave frees staff from their teaching and administrative commitments to enable them to concentrate on their research and scholarship 'during one term for every six terms of service' while continuing to receive full pay. They are required to produce a report on the work carried out during their sabbatical, for submission to their institutional head soon after the end of their leave.

If you wish to take sabbatical leave, you must first discuss your plans with your institutional head (and with your head of house if you are a fellow of a College) to ensure that satisfactory arrangements can be made in your absence.

Requests for approval of leave by the General Board or Council must be made to the Human Resources Division on the application form LAF1, which is available online, and supported by your Faculty Board.

Leave for Public Service or other reasons

Public Service or Unpaid Leave

Anyone called for Public Service (e.g. jury duty) or wishing to take unpaid leave for any reason not covered by the above should complete this form.