It is important that you still take booked annual leave because time away from work is critical to your wellbeing. We would wish you to plan to take your annual leave during the current leave year as normal – only eight days of annual leave can be carried over from this leave year to the next and we do not wish staff to lose annual leave because they have not utilised it.
It is essential to your health and well-being that you continue to take holidays and we are asking staff to take leave as they normally would. If you are unable to take leave because you are especially busy with work related issues due to the current crisis, for example due to being part of an on campus rota or because you are dealing with student issues which have arisen because of COVID-19, then please discuss this with your manager who, where practical, will work with you to reschedule your leave to a later date within the current leave year.
The Government have confirmed that they intend to allow greater flexibility in the use of holiday entitlement* to employers and workers in key industries affected by COVID -19 such as the NHS. It is understood that the primary purpose of this flexibility is to allow key staff, for whom it would not be reasonably practicable to take some or all of their leave in the relevant leave year due to COVID-19, to carry that leave over into the next two leave years. It is not, however, envisaged that will be the case for the vast majority of University staff. The change is primarily intended to support those in key industries who are unable to take their annual leave because they cannot be released from their key duties. Exceptionally, if you believe this applies to you, then please contact your HR team who will advise you on its applicability.
*the Government’s additional flexibility applies to 20 days per annum under the Working Time Directive
We are aware from our conversations with you that many of you purchased Additional Leave earlier this leave year to enable you to care for family members, especially school age children during the school holiday period. Given the current school closures, we would expect these additional leave days to be even more important to you. We are also aware, however, that some of you purchased additional leave to attend a one-off event, for example a family wedding overseas, your own honeymoon or a long distance ‘holiday of a lifetime’. Given the cancellation of such major events, if this applies to you and you wish to take the additionally purchased leave in a later leave year when your event is re-scheduled, then please raise this with your line manager.