- 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.
- 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.
- The University acknowledges the personal nature of bereavement and grief and is committed to supporting employees in the immediate period around the death of a loved one. Paid leave will normally be paid for between one and five days.
- Bereavement Leave may be granted for a longer period but additional leave would normally be unpaid. Staff may also choose to supplement the period of bereavement leave with annual leave.
- Bereavement leave may be granted if a member of your close family, partner or someone else who relied on you dies.
- 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 and your responsibilities in relation to the deceased.
- In recognition that bereaved staff may need additional support by way of medical and/ or bereavement counselling appointments, these may be accommodated as paid time off as referenced in the Flexitime policy.
- Parents and adults with parental responsibility1 who suffer the loss of a child before 18 years of age are entitled to a statutory two weeks leave and statutory pay. The university has enhanced this provision to up to 12 weeks of leave, paid at full pay. This is available for all employees regardless of length of service and is normally applicable where the child is under 18 years of age.
- Parental Bereavement Leave should be taken by 56 weeks of the date of the child's death and can either be taken as one period or two. Notice of this leave will be flexible given the nature of it, although where a parent is taking some or all of the leave eight weeks after the child's death, we ask, where possible, to provide at least one weeks notice.
- In the event of a stillbirth from the 24th week of pregnancy onwards, the pregnant employee will be eligible for maternity leave and pay as applicable (occupational and/ or statutory or a maternity allowance). Further details can be found in the Maternity Leave policy. In addition, the employee will be eligible for the statutory two weeks Parental Bereavement Leave, therefore an employee who loses a baby in this way will be entitled to 52 weeks maternity leave plus two weeks Parental Bereavement Leave. The University has enhanced the pay for these two weeks of Parental Bereavement Leave from the statutory rate, to full pay.
- If an employee is entitled to paternity leave in the event of a stillborn baby (24th week of pregnancy onwards), the employee retains the right to paternity leave and pay. In addition, the employee will be eligible for up to ten weeks of paid Parental Bereavement Leave. Therefore, an employee who loses a baby in this way will be entitled to up to 12 weeks paid leave in total. The University has enhanced the pay for the ten weeks of Parental Bereavement Leave from the statutory rate, to full pay.
- In recognition that parents may need additional support by way of medical and/ or bereavement counselling appointments, these may be accommodated as paid time off as referenced in the Flexitime policy.
- Parental Bereavement Leave and pay is to be applied instead of and not in addition to Bereavement Leave.
- Compassionate leave is discretionary, and if granted will normally be paid to a maximum of five days in any 12 month period.
- Compassionate leave may be granted if you have an unexpected personal or family crisis. This type of leave is designed to help you in exceptional circumstances only. Examples of this may include serious injury or emergency admission to hospital of a dependant. This is not intended for example, to cover the normal childhood illnesses.
- 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 unexpected personal or family situation, covered under Dependants leave below.
- There may be circumstances where a member of staff needs some flexibility at work to help them with unexpected events. This may include for example:
- Looking after children when they fall ill or need to attend an appointment or
- Caring for elderly, frail or ill relatives or dependants whilst care arrangements are put in place, getting a dependant out of bed and dressed in the morning or attending an appointment
- Managers are encouraged to explore a range of options to cover the need for time off such as using annual leave, taking unpaid leave, flexi leave, TOIL or temporarily reducing contractual hours. A mix of options is sometimes appropriate.
- In considering your request your supervisor, manager or Head of Department (as appropriate) will take account of all the circumstances. For longer period of leave (over one month) it may be more appropriate to consider whether a career break might apply.
- Domestic emergencies leave is discretionary, and if granted will normally be unpaid and limited to one or two days.
- Domestic emergencies leave may be granted if you suffer an unexpected domestic emergency that requires immediate attention, such as a flood or burglary.
- 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.
- Public and community leave is normally paid. You will normally be granted paid leave for the following activities:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
|Maximum annual entitlement
|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
|As required by the court
- 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
- You must provide the relevant documentation when applying for Armed Forces Leave to meet both training and mobilisation requirements.
- 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.
- Defined as the biological parent; adoptive parent (if the child was living with them); person who lived with the child and had responsibility for them for at least 4 weeks before they died; 'intended parent' - due to become the legal parent through surrogacy, or; partner of the child's parent, if they live with the child and the child's parent in an enduring family relationship.
- Last reviewed and updated: 14 July 2022