Annual Leave Policy

1. Introduction

1. Introduction

The University of Glasgow promotes a positive and healthy work-life balance and recognises the importance of annual leave in achieving this. This policy, which applies to all members of staff, aims to provide a fair, consistent and equitable approach to the accrual and taking of annual leave, ensuring that individual needs are balanced with operational requirements.

2. Principles

2. Principles

2.1 It is important that members of staff take regular breaks from their duties through annual leave.

2.2 The holiday leave year operates from 1 January to 31 December.

2.3 Members of staff are expected to take their annual leave entitlement within the leave year period.

2.4 Entitlements to leave are pro-rated for part-time/term-time staff, and those who join or leave part-way through a leave year.

2.5 Leave is granted subject to operational requirements.

2.6 All members of staff will be expected to take any outstanding holidays before leaving the University. Normally no additional payment will be made for leave not taken. Similarly, where leave has been taken in excess of the entitlement, a pro-rated adjustment will be made and deducted from the final salary payment.

2.7 This policy will be applied in a fair and consistent manner and without discrimination, in line with the University’s Equality & Diversity Policy.

3. Annual Leave Entitlement

3. Annual Leave Entitlement

3.1 All full-time employees are entitled to 31 (thirty-one) days annual leave. This includes three other days which are fixed by the University. These follow the Boxing Day public holiday.

3.2 Public holidays: Employees are entitled to 9 public holidays per annum, these being:

  • New Year’s Day
  • 2 January
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • May Day
  • Queen’s Birthday
  • Glasgow Fair Monday
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

Should Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day or 2 January fall on a weekend, the following Monday/Tuesday will be designated as the public holiday(s).

3.3 Working on public holidays/’other days’: In order to meet operational/business requirements, staff in certain areas may be asked to work on designated public holidays or the  ‘other days’ which are typically fixed. Where a member of staff is asked to work on a designated public holiday/’other day’ and they agree to do so they will be given the equivalent period of leave to be taken at another time agreeable to both the line manager and the member of staff in line with the normal booking arrangements (unless they are already contracted to work on such days). In addition, staff in grades 1 to 5 will qualify for enhanced payment where the work takes place on a public holiday.

3.4 Holiday entitlement for part-time staff: Holiday entitlement for part-time/term-time staff, which includes entitlement to public holidays and ‘other days’, will be proportionate to the number of hours the member of staff is contracted to work. For the purposes of clarity, leave for part-time staff is expressed in hours due (which will incorporate the pro-rata entitlement to public holidays and the three other fixed days).

Some staff may work compressed hours either on an individually agreed basis or as part of a shift/rota pattern. In these circumstances the individual leave entitlement does not change however it will also typically be expressed in hours to reflect the fact that you may work fewer days than those on standard work patterns and that some working days may be longer than others.  

3.5 Holiday entitlement for starters and leavers: Staff who join or leave the University during the leave year will be granted a proportion of the total holiday entitlement (31 days) at a rate of 1/365th days in any given leave year rounded to the nearest half day or pro-rated equivalent. Please note, where a member of staff leaves the University and they have exceeded their annual leave entitlement, they will be required to re-pay to the University any excess taken. Such sums will be deducted from their final salary payment. New starters will receive a minimum of 3 days (or pro-rata equivalent) to ensure that those joining late in the year have sufficient leave entitlement to take the three “other days” which are fixed by the University. 

3.6 Employees on Fixed Term contracts will have their pro-rata leave entitlement calculated on the same basis as a new starter/leaver based on an annual equivalent of 31 days. They will additionally receive any public holidays which fall within the period of their contract.

3.7 Employees can view their holiday entitlement via Employee Self Service

4. Employee Responsibilities - Booking/Taking Annual Leave

4. Employee Responsibilities - Booking/Taking Annual Leave

4.1 Members of staff should request annual leave through Employee Self Service.

4.2 When submitting a request for annual leave reasonable notice should be given. Please note that local arrangements regarding specific notice periods may apply.

4.3 The taking of leave is by agreement with the line manager who will take into account both individual preferences and operational/business requirements.

4.4 It may not be practicable for line managers to approve annual leave at specific times in the University calendar i.e. due to special activities or events, peak periods etc. These times will vary across the University Services and Colleges.

4.5 Annual leave should normally be taken in full or half days.

5. Manager Responsibilities

5. Manager Responsibilities

5.1 In order that leave can be accurately recorded and monitored, line managers must ensure that all staff request annual leave through Employee Self Service. The manager will then be prompted through Manager Self Service to approve (or reject) the leave requested.

5.2 Where an annual leave request is turned down, the reason for this is required in the system and is emailed back to the member of staff.

5.3 Line managers should communicate to staff as soon as reasonably practicable those periods during which, due to operational requirements, it may not be appropriate to take annual leave i.e. where the team/section is involved with or responsible for special activities or events; due to peak periods; to ensure sufficient cover etc.

5.4 Whilst staff are expected to provide due notice when requesting a period of annual leave, some flexibility may be required depending on the circumstances surrounding the request.

5.5 Line managers should proactively review and monitor the annual leave of their team, ensuring that staff are taking their leave due, and that holidays are planned in such a way that the team/section has adequate cover at all times.

6. Carrying Annual Leave Forward

6. Carrying Annual Leave Forward

While members of staff are expected to take their holidays in the leave year in which they have accrued, staff may, with the agreement of their Head of School/RI/University Service, carry forward a maximum of 5 days holiday into the next leave year (pro-rated for part-time staff). Where, as a result of extenuating circumstances, a member of staff has been unable to take their full leave entitlement, requests to carry forward leave will not be unreasonably refused. Any days carried forward must be taken by 31 March that year or the holidays will lapse. Where there are maternity related or long-term sick leave implications please refer to Section 7.

7. Absence & Holidays

7. Absence & Holidays

7.1 Illness during holiday: Members of staff who fall sick either during a period of annual leave or just prior to the leave commencing, will be permitted to reclaim those days lost through illness (or, in the latter case, may reschedule their annual leave for another time once they have recovered) where the absence is certified by a medical fit note. This period of absence will then be recorded as sickness absence. Please note that the requirement to provide a medical fit note applies even where the absence is less than 7 days in duration. This arrangement also applies to public holidays/’other days’.

7.2 Accrual of holidays during periods of sickness absence: Typically, holiday entitlement will continue to accrue as normal during periods of sickness absence. In cases of long term sickness absence, where this would result in holidays being carried into the next leave year, members of staff should seek advice from their College/University Services HR team regarding entitlement.

7.3 Accrual of holidays during maternity, adoption and paternity leave: Members of staff will continue to accrue contractual holiday entitlement (including entitlement to public holidays and ‘other days’) as normal during the full period of maternity, adoption and paternity leave. For further details please see our other Leave Policies.

8. Calculating Entitlement

8. Calculating Entitlement

Information on annual leave balance and entitlement for employees can be viewed in Employee Self Service.

The HR System automatically schedules absence for Public Holidays and the three other fixed days unless, as may be the case for some part-time staff, these fall on non-working days. Where employees do not have a fixed work pattern the HR system is not able to calculate leave entitlement and hence this is managed “off system”. This will most commonly apply to hourly paid staff. As with other part-time employees annual leave entitlement is accrued on a pro-rata basis based on 31 days plus any public holidays which fall within the period of the contract. A simple‌ Annual Leave Calculator for Hourly Paid Staff has been made available for use by Administrators.

9. Policy Review

9. Policy Review

This policy will be regularly reviewed by the University and may be amended at any time following appropriate consultation.

10. Further Information

10. Further Information

For further advice and information on this policy, please contact your College/University Services HR team.