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Updated staff FAQs: annual leave and special leave

27 Mar 2020

Staff FAQs will be updated regularly

This advice is correct at the time of publication of this news article.

If you have health concerns then you should refer to the NHS website as recommended by Public Health England, however to make other queries regarding the current situation you can email

We will be updating the staff frequently asked questions on a regular basis.

The latest questions are:

Can I still take annual leave during this period? 

Yes, it’s important that colleagues have the opportunity to take a break from work during this period, even if you’ve had to cancel your holiday plans given the latest Government advice stay at home and away from others.  To help you maintain a healthy work-life balance, you’re encouraged to book annual leave in the same way that you usually would.  At the moment there are no plans to increase the amount of annual leave colleagues can carry over at the end of the leave year.  This means that a maximum of five days of annual leave (or the pro-rata equivalent) can be carried over into next year’s annual leave allowance.  If you have resigned and intend to leave the University, it’s important to remember that you may be required to take any, or all, of your outstanding leave allowance during your notice period.

All colleagues are also entitled to an additional two days of paid annual leave over Easter on Thursday, 9 and Tuesday, 14 April 2020. These two extra days will be treated as two additional ‘University closure days’ so will be in addition to your annual leave entitlement.  The small number of essential support staff who are required to work on these days will receive the same level of pay as they would for working on the Public Holidays of Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. 

If you work part-time or are an agency worker due to be working on either or both of these dates you will receive one or two days paid holiday.  If you work part-time or are an agency work and not due to be working on either or both of these days, you won’t be eligible for payment or time off in lieu.

Can I use paid Coronavirus Special Leave in smaller chunks, such as half days, or do I have to take it all in one go over 14 consecutive days? 

Our Coronavirus Special Leave policy has been designed to supplement our existing Special Leave policy and means that you can apply to take up to 14 days paid leave to cover any coronavirus related emergency.  Whilst Special Leave is usually taken in full days, we recognise that given the current circumstances we need to be more flexible to help support colleagues and therefore you can take half days if that is more useful to you.  However you use Coronavirus Special Leave, this won’t affect your ability to apply for Special Leave for other reasons throughout the year, however please bear in mind that these policies may be subject to ongoing review.

More information