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As with any period of extended leave it is important for the Institution to plan how the employee’s absence on SPL will be covered. It is usually beneficial to do this in conjunction with the employee before they start their leave.

It may be possible to offer a development opportunity to another employee by asking them to cover the duties of the employee on SPL. If an employee is asked to cover duties at a higher level than their substantive post, an additional responsibility payment may be appropriate. It may also be possible to seek funding from the relevant body for a temporary appointment at a lower level.

Any person temporarily appointed to cover for SPL will have a clause in his/her contract stating that the contract will end on the return or resignation of the employee on leave.

Alternatively, if possible, the work of the employee on SPL may be redistributed among existing employees.


  • For academic staff, substitute teaching funds may be provided. There is no provision for cover for the administrative or other non-teaching duties of a UTO.
  • For assistant staff posts funded by central University funds and for academic-related staff, funding may be sought for a temporary appointment from the relevant school (Resource Management Committee for non-school institutions).
  • For contract research staff, the sponsor bears the cost of any substitute cover.

External Sponsors

Where a position is funded by an external sponsor, it is the responsibility of the Head of Institution to inform the sponsor that the employee is taking SPL. The sponsor's SPL provision should be checked, for example, whether they would provide additional funding to make a substitute appointment to compensate for the whole, or part, of a period of paid SPL, or to extend the duration of a grant for a period of leave equivalent to the SPL taken by employee so that the project may be completed.