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In all cases, an employee must discuss any application they wish to make for special leave with their Head of Institution at the earliest opportunity. For emergency or compassionate leave this should be as soon as reasonably practicable. If an individual finds it difficult to talk to their manager due to the nature of the leave requested they may wish to contact their HR Business Partnering Team.

The following steps should be followed for all special leave applications: 

  1. Employees should make an initial written application to their Head of Institution (or nominated line manager, departmental administrator or equivalent) for special leave at least 4 weeks prior to the commencement of the requested period by completing form CHRIS/68. The employee should attach any additional documentation as required under the relevant policy section. Where it is not possible to give 4 weeks' notice, eg in cases of Emergency Leave, the employee must contact their line manager, or follow the normal reporting procedure of their Institution, as soon as reasonably practicable. 

  1. For a Carer’s Leave application, the minimum notice should be either twice the length of the time being requested or 3 days, whichever is the longest, by completing form CHRIS/68. There is no need to provide evidence of the employee’s entitlement to the leave.  

  2. Where appropriate, on receipt of the application, the manager will arrange a meeting with the employee to discuss their needs, which may include: 

    1. The anticipated number of days away from work. 

    2. The schedule that they potentially will be following, were applicable. 

    3. Any additional flexible working pattern arrangements that will be required. 

    4. Any implications for the institution. 

    5. Any other matters specific to the type of special leave requested. 

  3. Confirmation will be provided by the relevant Department/Faculty to the employee if their request has been agreed, must be postponed or cannot be agreed. Reasons will be provided where an application cannot be agreed. If it is necessary to postpone a special leave request alternative dates will be suggested or alternative arrangements discussed with the employee. 

  1.  With applications for Carer’s Leave  

  • a.  written notice must be given to the employee as soon as reasonably practicable, but not later than 7 days after the employee’s notice was given or before the earliest day requested on the employees notice, whichever is the earlier.   
  • b. If the carer’s requested leave is not agreed, the employee must be allowed to take the requested leave within one month of the earliest day of the requested leave.  
  1. Where requests are agreed, the completed CHRIS/68 is sent to the relevant HR Business Partnering Team who will process on CHRIS. For all unpaid leave requests and future dated requests for paid leave, HR will prepare a letter to the employee copied to the departmental administrator or equivalent. Depending upon the type of special leave requested, there may be additional steps not set out above, such as the submission of medical certificates or receipt of reimbursement from a court for undertaking jury service. Please refer to relevant policy section for further information. 

In certain circumstances the Head of Institution may complete the CHRIS/68 on the employees' behalf, for example in certain cases of Emergency Leave. In all cases a confidential written record should be kept by the Head of Institution of any time off granted for special leave. 

Employees who feel that they have been unreasonably refused time off should, in the first instance, raise the matter with their Head of Institution. Ultimately employees have the right to raise the matter through the relevant grievance procedure for their staff category.