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Public service leave

The University supports staff to use their expertise to serve the wider community. This is embedded in our commitment to social responsibility.

We provide a reasonable amount of time off under the Public Service Leave policy in the following circumstances:

  • for voluntary public service roles, such as School Governors
  • for UK Volunteer Reserve Forces
  • for jury service

All leave allocations will be pro rata for part-time employees.


If you are considering undertaking a public service role or joining the volunteer reserve forces you should initially discuss this with your line manager. Consideration must be given to any potential conflict of interest with your University role.

You will be required to complete a pro-forma, to be signed off by your line manager, in accordance with the Policy on Outside Work and Consultancy.

Voluntary public service roles

The University provides a reasonable amount of paid* time off for undertaking certain public service roles such as being a councillor, school governor, magistrate, etc. The roles are listed within the Public service leave policy.

If you wish to undertake a public service role you should initially discuss this with your line manager and provide an estimate of the amount of time off required per year to undertake the role. After discussion, your line manager will confirm the maximum amount of paid* leave which may be taken during the year. This will depend on the circumstances and the impact on the University service. 

*Please note, if you receive a fee or an allowance you must declare this.  Where the fee paid is equal to or greater than a days’ pay, you will be given unpaid leave; where the fee is less than a days’ pay, your salary will be reduced accordingly.

If you wish to take further time off for such duties, you will be required to use your annual leave, apply for unpaid leave, or in some roles it may be possible to rearrange your working hours around these commitments.

School Governors

The University has established an initiative to encourage more staff to support the strategic development of local state schools in the University’s local communities by volunteering as School Governors. This is one of our social responsibility signature programmes.

Learn more about the University's School Governor Initiative and how to become a School Governor. 

UK volunteer reserve forces

Most reserved forces training takes place in the evenings and at weekends. However volunteers are usually expected to attend an annual camp and in order to support staff to undertake this, the University will provide up to 2 weeks paid* leave. However, as reservists are paid by the Ministry of Defence for all training, you will be required to provide details of any payment received. *Where the MoD pay is equal to or greater than your normal pay, unpaid leave will be given and where the MoD pay is less than your normal pay, your salary will be reduced accordingly.

Should you be mobilised (i.e called up for active service) you will be given the full amount of leave required to undertake this. During any period of mobilisation you will be paid by and be given annual leave by the Ministry of Defence. You will therefore be on unpaid leave from the University and will not accrue annual leave.

On return from active service your line manager will complete a 'Return to work checklist' with you to help you to settle back into your role at the University.

Jury service

If you are called up for jury service you must inform your line manager as soon as possible. Jury service normally lasts 2 weeks but it could last longer and you will need to keep your line manager informed.

You must complete form JS1 - Notice of Jury Service and either take or send this together with the confirmation letter from the Courts Service and the certificate of loss of earnings to HR Services. This should be done as soon as possible.

During jury service your salary will be reduced as you will be able to claim for loss of earnings from the court. However, as you will not receive the loss of earnings payment from the court until after your jury service has finished, in order to alleviate financial difficulties you can request a temporary loan from the University which will be repayable as soon as the jury service has finished. 

It is vital that you inform HR Services when your jury service is complete and you return to work using form JS2.