Annual Leave

Annual Leave

The annual leave year runs from 1 September in any one year, to 31 August of the following year.

All leave must be booked and agreed in advance, using the appropriate recording method within your department.

The leave allowance will in most cases be taken during this period, however there may be special circumstances when this is not practical.

Colleagues who have taken periods of time away due to maternity/adoption leave, unpaid leave, sickness absence etc should contact the HR Department, via their Head of Service/School, for advice about leave entitlement.

Colleagues may carry forward up to 5 days annual leave entitlement (pro rata for part time staff) from one leave year to the next, this must be agreed in advance with your line manager.

In exceptional circumstances, individual employees may apply, in writing to their Head of Service/Institute, for consideration of more than 5 days (or the pro rata equivalent for part time staff) being carried forward.

There are usually 11 fixed days of holiday during the year.

The majority of staff will be contractually entitled to paid leave in respect of public holidays and University closed days, or a pro rata allocation for part time staff where public holidays/closed days fall on a non-working day. Some discrete groups of staff, for example Security and staff working at The Hive, will have alternative contractual obligations and arrangements.

If you have any questions about these arrangements, please speak to your manager in the first instance.

Christmas Holidays 2020

2020 has been an exceptional year for the University and the Board of Governors is deeply grateful for the outstanding work undertaken by colleagues in all areas of the University in order to navigate through these very difficult months. The responsible, calm and professional way in which colleagues have responded to one challenge after another is much appreciated.

Given the exception year, for Christmas 2020, the University has decided to grant 4 closure days to all staff colleagues over the Christmas Period. These days will be in addition to the 3 closure days that are provided to staff under the normal terms of their contract.

The Christmas 2020 closure days, including the additional 4 days will be allocated to staff as detailed in the table below. Part-time staff colleagues will receive a pro-rata number of hours.

Staff who are required to work over the Christmas period to maintain essential University services will be able to take the leave at another time, to be agreed with their line manager. 

Monday 21st December - Additional Closure Day

Tuesday 22nd December - Additional Closure Day

Wednesday 23rd December - Additional Closure Day

Thursday 24th December - Additional Closure Day

Friday 25th December - Christmas Day

Saturday 26th December - Boxing Day

Sunday 27th December

Monday 28th December - Bank Holiday (in lieu of Boxing Day)

Tuesday 29th December - University Closure Day

Wednesday 30th December - University Closure Day

Thursday 31st December - University Closure Day

Friday 1st January - New Year's Day

Saturday 2nd January

Sunday 3rd January

The following principles will apply:

• For the majority of staff, the additional days will be allocated to the Christmas period. It is not 4 days of leave for staff to add to their annual entitlement.

• Part time salaried staff who work a set number of hours each week will receive a pro-rata number allocation for the closure days, proportionate to full time working hours. For part time staff, the pro-rata amount for the 4 closure days is calculated as:

4 days ÷ 37 hours x hours per week x 7.4 hours = x hours. 

Example for member of staff who works 18.5 hours per week

4 / 37 x 18.5 hours a week x 7.4 hours = 14.8 hours (divided by 7.4 = 2 days)

• Staff who are required to work on the additional closure days will be allowed to take the leave at another time to be agreed with their line manager.

• Staff should not receive an enhanced rate for working on these days and receive the additional leave days, unless it is a contractual requirement.  Managers may contact HR to verify contractual arrangements by email to

• This leave is allocated on an exceptional basis and does not form part of future leave entitlement.

• Friday 18th December will be a normal working day. 

Other categories of part-time or part-year staff

There are other categories of part-time staff who do not have a bookable leave entitlement, but who instead receive a stipulated contractual payment which compensates them for an accrued amount of annual leave, bank holidays and University Closed Days based upon hours worked. For any such individuals, the arrangements will be as follows: -

Individuals who have a confirmed number of contracted hours (e.g. annualised hours, term-time only and Associate Lecturers)

Where such an individual has either: 1) a contract that spans a period of employment which both starts before and ends after the Christmas break; or, 2) (for Associate Lecturers only) a contract that covers teaching hours in Semester 1 only, but which includes a sufficient number of hours and/or dates that may have otherwise required them to have been working during the Christmas period (e.g. due to the associated marking), they will receive a lump-sum payment in their December 2020 payment. 

The amount of pay they will receive will reflect the number of hours of leave they would accrue for those 4 additional University closed days, based on their contracted full-time equivalent (FTE) for this leave year. 

For example, based on 7.4 hours per day then four full days equals a maximum total of an additional 29.6 hours of leave. Therefore, for someone who is contracted for a total number of hours which equates to 0.2FTE across the year, they will receive 0.2 x 29.6 = 5.92 hours of additional leave. Any monies will be paid at their normal hourly rate of pay.

Individuals who have variable hours of work (i.e. no specific contracted hours or dates)

For individuals who do not have a guaranteed number of contracted number of hours across the year, but instead get paid only through the submission of timesheets, they currently receive a set amount per hour which is based on a percentage that reflects the leave entitlement for their salary band. For example, for someone who would normally have 21 days of annual leave, 8 Bank Holidays and 3 closed days if they were full-time, the individual who is employed on a variable hours arrangement will instead receive an amount per hour based on 13.99% of their normal hourly rate.

Therefore, for any such individuals they will, on an exceptional basis and for this leave year only (1st September 2020 to 31st August 2021), receive an enhanced percentage per hour that incorporates those additional 4 days. For example, and using the same scenario as detailed above, based on 21 days of annual leave, 8 Bank Holidays and 7 closed days the percentage per hour increases to 16.02%.

Individuals who fall into this category will receive a lump-sum payment in their January 2021 salary payment, reflecting any back-pay due for hours already worked from 1st September 2020 onwards. Due to the timesheet and payroll system changes that will need to be made for this category of staff, unfortunately it was not possible to facilitate this in time for the December payroll. From January payment onwards, and for the remainder of the current leave year (i.e. until 31st August 2021), they will then receive the increased percentage for each hour worked.

Any individuals who want confirmation of what their enhanced percentage per hour will be can contact for further information.