Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Menu
Search the University of Manchester siteSearch Menu StaffNet
Search type

Ash cloud flight disruption: update

27 Apr 2010

Advice for staff and students, including claiming for costs

The University is aware that some staff and students have been affected by the on-going flight disruptions due to the restrictions on flights in and out of the UK and most of Europe. 

Staff and students who are overseas and have been unable to return to the UK should consult the up-to-date advice offered on:

The University has also prepared the following specific guidance:

Advice to staff

  1. Members of staff who are overseas on University business will be able to claim reasonable expenses associated with their late departure. This covers additional, reasonable expenditure on accommodation and/or on alternative means of travel. Staff should also refer to the guidance on travel insurance claims issued by the University.
     
  2. The University will view sympathetically the predicament of staff who have been unable to return to work as planned due to being stranded overseas following a holiday. Further advice on how the University will apply the Annual Leave and Special Leave policies in these particular circumstances will be issued later this week when more details about the scale and impact of flight disruption are known.
      
  3. Staff who had booked leave for an overseas holiday, but have been unable to travel due to the disruption may rearrange their leave for an alternative date.

Update for staff: 23 April 2010

We stated on 20 April that the University would view sympathetically the predicament of staff who have been unable to return to work as planned due to being stranded overseas following a holiday. At the time we undertook to issue further advice on how the University would apply the Annual Leave and Special Leave policies in these particular circumstances when more details about the scale and impact of flight disruption were known.

As UK airspace began to reopen last Tuesday evening, the situation now appears to be easing.  Given the unprecedented nature and scale of this disruption, therefore, the University has decided to adopt the following position:

  • Assuming that the individual is unable to receive compensation from their insurance company for loss of earnings, the first three days of absence from work should be treated as Special Leave with no loss of pay.
      
  • Beyond this, staff may cover any additional period of absence in the following ways:

    1.  From their annual leave entitlement
    2.  Unpaid leave
    3.  With the agreement of their line manager and where practicable, making up the days of absence by working additional hours over a pre-determined period of time

It is recognized that, in some circumstances, a combination of these options will be appropriate.

Please note that the advice given on 20 April for staff who were stranded overseas on University business stands.

Advice to students

  1. Students returning from study abroad/exchange visits and field trips (or similar)
      
    Your School will contact you to discuss arrangements for alternative or rescheduled travel, additional accommodation and any other issues. You are covered by the University’s insurance policy and you should retain all paperwork relating to cancelled flights etc as this may be required for insurance claims.
      
  2. Students due to commence study abroad/exchange visits and field trips (or similar)
      
    Your School will contact you with details about rescheduling this activity or alternative arrangements.
        
  3. Students returning from holiday
      
    You should email your Academic Adviser or Personal Tutor immediately to inform them that you have been unable to return to the UK and to provide an estimate of how long you are likely to be away from the University. You should also report your absence from compulsory classes via the normal procedures that apply in your School. In the meantime, you are advised to continue to prepare for examinations and to log onto Blackboard, where staff will post information and lecture notes.
       
  4. Assessment and Examinations
    The University has a procedure to deal with requests for extensions to the deadline for assessments or if you feel that your preparation for examinations has been adversely affected by the current travel restrictions. For information, see Policy on Mitigating Circumstances.

    Please ensure that you keep paperwork (e.g. records of any correspondence with airlines, unused flight tickets etc) as you will need to submit this to your School if requesting an extension or asking for mitigating circumstances to be considered. 

Claiming for costs

Guidance on claiming for additional and abortive costs associated with the ash cloud flight disruption is now available at:

It remains the case that travellers should ensure that:

  • they obtain documentary evidence of any cancellation that affects them
  • they take steps to recover whatever costs they are entitled to from airlines and other operators
  • they obtain receipts for any additional expenditure incurred