1. Leave in special circumstances

1.1 The University recognises that there are a range of circumstances when you may need to take time away from work, but that it may not be reasonable for you to use annual leave or flexi leave. Leave in special circumstances is intended to provide a sympathetic response to this, and this procedure provides a framework for making and considering these requests for time off.

1.2 Leave in special circumstances may be unpaid or may, sometimes, be paid. When considering applications, line managers or Heads of Department must decide which is appropriate in line with the advice below. Guidance on how to apply for leave in special circumstances, and advice on how to consider and decide an application is contained in the guidance to this policy.

2. Bereavement leave

2.1 Bereavement leave is discretionary and will normally be paid for between one and five days. Bereavement Leave may be granted for a longer period but additional Bereavement Leave would normally be unpaid.

2.2 Bereavement leave may be granted if a member of your close family or partner dies.

2.3 In considering your request your supervisor/manager/ Head of Department (as appropriate) will take account of your circumstances. These are likely to include: the nature of your relationship with the deceased; the extent to which other family members are available for support; your responsibilities in relation to the deceased, and how far away the deceased lived.

3. Compassionate leave

3.1 Compassionate leave is discretionary, and if granted will normally be paid to a maximum of five days in any 12 month period. If you are not granted compassionate leave, you may be entitled to take a reasonable period of unpaid time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependant.

3.2 Compassionate leave may be granted if you have serious personal or family difficulties. This type of leave is designed to help you in exceptional circumstances, for example if a dependant falls ill or is injured, or if care arrangements break down.

3.3 There may be other circumstances (not an emergency situation) where carers may apply to take up to five days unpaid leave. Carers in this context are individuals who look after elderly, frail or disabled relatives or dependants. This may include putting care arrangements in place to enable a close relative to continue living at home, getting a parent out of bed and dressed before work and answering personal alarm calls at all hours of the day or night. This does not cover staff who have responsibility for children under normal circumstances.

3.4 In considering your request your supervisor/manager or Head of Department (as appropriate) will take account of all the circumstances, and will also first explore with you whether other solutions such as annual leave, flexi leave or temporarily reducing your contracted hours could help. For longer periods of leave (over one month) it may be more appropriate to consider whether a career break might apply.

4. Domestic emergencies leave

4.1 Domestic emergencies leave is discretionary, and if granted will normally be unpaid and limited to one or two days.

4.2 Domestic emergencies leave may be granted if you suffer an unexpected domestic emergency that requires immediate attention, such as a flood or burglary.

4.3 In considering your request your supervisor/manager Head of Department (as appropriate) will take account of the nature of the emergency, whether the request is reasonable and whether you have been granted leave for domestic emergencies before. Your supervisor/manager Head of Department will also consider whether you have other annual or flexi leave available to cover the emergency.

5. Public and community leave

5.1 Public and community leave is normally paid. You will normally be granted paid leave for the following activities:

Activity Maximum annual entitlement
Magistrate 18
Local councillor 18
School or college governor
(eg for Ofsted inspection)
Chairperson of public body Up to an additional 6 days for any duties in addition to allowances above
Jury service As required by the court

5.2 You should obtain the agreement of the University before undertaking voluntary public service, to ensure it can be balanced with the requirements of your job.

5.3 If you are granted time off with pay for undertaking public duties you must refund to the University any attendance fees or any compensation paid, other than those for travel and subsistence. No travel or subsistence will be paid by the University.

5.4 You may also apply for reasonable, unpaid time off for certain other public duties, not included on the list above: in these cases HR may be contacted for advice.

6. Armed Forces leave

6.1 If you are a member of HM Armed Forces Reserves you are entitled to:

  • paid leave to meet training requirements to a maximum of five days and
  • unpaid leave if you are mobilised

6.2 You must provide the relevant documentation when applying for Armed Forces Leave to meet both training and mobilisation requirements.

6.3 You are allowed to accept any payments from the Ministry of Defence that result from either training or mobilisation. During call-up your University salary will be stopped and you will be paid a military salary. If your military salary falls short of the salary you would otherwise have received, you may claim an award to compensate for the shortfall from the Ministry of Defence.

Document control

  • Last reviewed: 31 March 2016