Compassionate, Parental, Carer's, Family Emergency, Domestic & Unpaid Leave

Compassionate, Parental, Carer's, Family Emergency, Domestic & Unpaid Leave

Compassionate Leave

Whether or not there is a statutory right to unpaid leave, see section below, compassionate leave of up to 5 days (pro-rata) paid leave, in any 12 month period, is available to all employees. If additional time is needed it may be possible to take annual or unpaid leave by agreement. Usually compassionate leave is granted in cases of bereavement or to deal with very serious domestic or family circumstances. Any requests for such leave should be raised with your line manager initially, and will be considered sympathetically and in confidence. Cases will be examined and leave allocated on an individual circumstances basis; further advice is available from the HR Department. For information on statutory rights on unpaid Parental Leave and Time Off for Dependants/Family Emergency please click on the link below:

Statutory rights to request unpaid Parental Leave and Time Off for Dependants/Family Emergency

Carer’s Leave

From 6th April 2024 onwards, employees can apply for up to one week of unpaid carer’s leave in any 12 month period. The right applies to any employees, regardless of their length of service with the University, who have a dependant with a long-term care need and who want or need to be absent from work to provide or arrange care for that dependant. Requests can be in consecutive, or non-consecutive, half-days or full days and any employees who wish to take this leave must give notice, in writing to their line manager, of their intention to take carer’s leave and giving notice which is either twice the length of time being requested, or three days’ notice, whichever is the longest. Line managers can potentially postpone an individual’s request for carer’s leave, for up to a maximum of one month from the leave start date originally requested, providing that they give notice of the postponement before the leave was due to begin, explain why the postponement is necessary and, in consultation with the employee concerned, confirm as soon as possible the revised dates agreed. Employees are therefore encouraged to discuss any such requests for carer’s leave with their line manager as soon as possible.

Personal Emergencies

An employee who needs time to deal with personal emergencies is advised to discuss the issue with their line manager. For normal domestic emergencies not covered by statutory rights, an employee will, within reason, be expected to use annual leave and/or flexi time leave. Further advice is available from the HR Department.

Jury Duty

An employee who receives notification of selection for Jury Duty will need to let their manager and the HR department know immediately, and provide the letter received. The University will continue to pay the employee's salary as usual during the period of Jury Duty.

Unpaid Leave

If you need to request unpaid leave please discuss this with your line manager in the first instance. The agreed arrangements should be recorded on an unpaid leave request form which should then be sent by email to to be processed for payroll.


Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations come into force on 6th April 2020.  The right to Parental Bereavement Leave will apply in the following circumstances:


  • Employed parents and adults with parental responsibility who have suffered the loss of a child under the age of 18.
  • Adults with ‘parental responsibility’ include adopters, foster parents and guardians. It’s also expected to apply to those classed as ‘kinship carers’, who may be close relatives or family friends that have assumed responsibility for looking after a child in the absence of parents.
  • The new entitlement will also apply to parents who suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. In this instance, female employees will still be entitled to up to 52 weeks of maternity leave and/or pay, as will a mother who loses a child after it is born.

Eligible employees will be able to take two weeks of leave as either a single block of two weeks, or as two separate blocks of one week each taken at different times across the first year after their child’s death. 

The two weeks will be taken as paid leave at normal rate of pay, regardless of length of service or weekly average earnings, inclusive of the five days’ compassionate leave* provided to all staff.
*The University provides paid compassionate leave, in cases of bereavement or to deal with very serious domestic or family circumstances, of up to five days to all existing employees, regardless of length of service.