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 – including your carry over leave from last year. We do not wish staff to lose annual leave because they have not utilised it.
*Due to extraordinary circumstances in 2020, an increased allowance of eight days annual leave could be carried forward from 2019-20 into the 2020-21 leave year
It is essential to your health and well-being that you continue to take annual leave to ensure a break away from work and we are asking staff to take leave as they normally would. We always aim to make sure annual leave is accessed fairly across teams. It is important that staff do not build up large banks of annual leave to only use at such time that restrictions are eased, leaving an unmanageable workload for those colleagues still working at that time.
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
Staff were able to amend their annual leave purchase preferences before the new leave year started in October 2020 and leave purchased should still be taken in this leave year. However, some staff may have purchased additional leave specifically 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 rescheduled, then please raise this with your line manager who can take guidance from Human Resources if required.