Other Leave/ Time Off

Other Leave/ Time Off

Below, you will find the University's policies relating to other types of statutory and special leave. 

Emergency Time Off to Care for Dependants

Emergency Time Off to Care for Dependants

1. Introduction

1.1 The University of Glasgow recognises that members of staff may require time off during working hours to deal with an immediate issue or emergency involving a dependant.  As such, and in accordance with the Employment Rights Act 1996, staff will be granted ‘reasonable’ time off work to deal with such matters.  The right to time off to care for dependants applies to all staff, regardless of their length of service.   

1.2 This policy will be applied in a fair and consistent manner and without discrimination, in line with the University’s Equality & Diversity Policy which can be viewed at: www.gla.ac.uk/services/humanresources/equalitydiversity/policy/equalitypolicy

2. Definition Of A Dependant

A dependant is classed as someone who reasonably relies on the member of staff for assistance or support in relation to their wellbeing, for example being a primary carer.  A dependant will generally be the spouse, civil partner, partner (including same sex partners), child or parent of the member of staff, or someone who lives with the member of staff as part of their family, for example an elderly relative (although this does not extend to tenants, boarders or a staff member’s employee). 

3. When Emergency Time Off May Be Required

3.1 Members of staff will be granted time off under this policy in order to:

  • Provide assistance on an occasion when a dependant falls ill, gives birth or is injured or assaulted;
  • Make arrangements for the provision of care for a dependant who is ill or injured;
  • Deal with an unexpected disruption or breakdown in care arrangements for a dependant, for instance when a nurse or child minder fails to turn up or due to school closure etc; 
  • Deal with an unexpected incident involving the member of staff's child during school hours, for instance if the child has been involved in a fight or is being suspended from school;
  • Deal with matters in consequence of the death of a dependant (reference to the Bereavement Policy may be applicable here depending on circumstances).

3.2 This list is not exhaustive - members of staff will be allowed time off in order to take necessary action to deal with any unexpected or sudden emergencies involving a dependant. For the time off to be justifiable, however, the member of staff’s presence must be crucial in resolving or assisting with the problem.

4. When Emergency Time Off Is Not Applicable

4.1 Once the emergency or immediate issue relating to the care of a dependant has been dealt with and/or necessary arrangements made, any subsequent time off will not be classed as ‘emergency time off’.  For example:

  • emergency time off may be required to take a dependant to hospital, however this leave type would not be applicable if further days/weeks off were required to care for the dependant at home;
  • emergency time off will be granted where childcare arrangements have broken down in order that the member of staff can make alternative arrangements, however if they need to provide care after the first day off, emergency time off would not apply.

4.2 Additional time off required in such circumstances should be dealt with via annual or unpaid leave.  The appropriate leave to be taken should be discussed and agreed with the line manager.

4.3 The right to time off under this policy does not cover situations where the need to take time off is known in advance.  In such cases, annual leave should be requested in the usual way.

4.4 Time off under this policy will not be granted for domestic emergencies e.g. where a boiler has burst, a washing machine is leaking/needs to be repaired etc.  Time off in such circumstances is at the discretion of the line manager, and should be taken from annual leave entitlement or as unpaid leave.

4.5 This policy is not intended to deal with longer term periods of absence or changes to working hours in order to manage caring responsibilities.  Where staff are looking to make either short or longer term changes to their working hours to accommodate caring responsibilities, they should discuss this matter with their line manager to establish if/how this can be accommodated.  It may also be useful to refer to the University’s Flexible Working Policy. 

5. Leave Entitlement & Pay

The amount of time off which is reasonable will vary depending on the member of staff’s circumstances, but as the time off is to deal with the immediate problem and, where necessary, to make alternative care arrangements, it should not usually be longer than 1 day (2 days at the most).  There is, however, no limit on the number of times a member of staff can be absent from work under this right.  Time taken off under this policy is unpaid.  Staff may, however, choose to use annual leave in such circumstances. 

6. Notification

Where a member of staff requires emergency time off, they must inform their line manager as soon as possible of the need to take time off, explaining the reason for the absence and how long they expect to be away from work.  If the manager cannot be contacted at that time, the member of staff should ensure that they have informed another appropriate staff member in the team who can update the manager on their return. 

7. Manager Responsibility

On being informed that a member of staff requires emergency time off, and they have elected to take leave under this policy rather than using leave from their holiday entitlement, the manager must ensure that this is recorded through Manager Self Service

8. Policy Review

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

9. Further Information

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

10. Useful/Related Links


Time Off For Jury Service/Court Appearances

Jury Service

Members of staff who are called for jury service during normal working hours shall be granted the necessary time off work with full pay in order that they can fulfill their public duty. It is expected, however, that staff will claim for loss of earnings in order that the University can be reimbursed for this. Members of staff should follow the process detailed below when called for jury service:

  • Advise their line manager as soon as possible that they have been called for jury service, and provide them with a copy of the jury citation letter;
  • A formal request for leave should then made through Employee Self Service, and a copy of the citation letter and the loss of earnings form should be forwarded to Payroll as soon as possible;
  • Payroll will complete, stamp and return the loss of earnings form in advance of the jury service, and will also include with this documentation a Payroll form titled ‘Jury/witness citation form’ which should be returned to Payroll once the member of staff has had their earnings reimbursed through the court system; 
  • Following the completion of the jury service, the loss of earnings form should be submitted to court for payment. (Payment, in the form of a cheque, will be made out to the member of staff and will be sent directly to their home address within 7 to 10 working days);
  • On receiving the payment in lieu of loss of earnings, the member of staff should complete Payroll’s Jury/witness citation form and attach a photocopy of the cheque received. The completed form should be returned to Payroll within one week of having received the monies from court;
  • As staff will continue to receive normal salary for the duration of the jury service, the payment made to them by the court in lieu of loss of earnings will be deducted from their next salary payment. (Please note, only payment for loss of earnings will be reclaimed by the University. Any expenses paid in relation to travel, subsistence etc will not be deducted from earnings as the court is simply refunding money already expended).

Other Court Appearances

  • Witness: Members of staff who have been officially called as a witness (i.e. by court citation) to give evidence for a crime they have witnessed will be released from work in order that they can fulfil their public duty. As per jury service detailed above, claims for loss of earnings should be made through the court system. For further information on how claims should be made, please contact Payroll. 
  • Character Witness: Staff members will, at the discretion of their Head of School/RI/University Service, be given reasonable time off in order that they can act as a character witness during a court hearing. This time off will be unpaid. Members of staff wishing to claim for loss of earnings should do so via the relevant solicitor.
  • Court appearance on own behalf: A staff member appearing in court on their own behalf will be required to use either annual leave or unpaid leave to cover the period absent. 

General information

  • Approval of time off: Any member of staff requiring time off for a court appearance/jury service must seek approval from their line manager prior to the date of leave, providing them with the necessary court citation letter/paperwork. 
  • Manager Responsibilities: The manager should ensure that the dates which the member of staff is absent from work as a result of a court appearance/jury service are recorded within the HR/Payroll system. 
  • Travel & expenses: Any expense claims in relation to travel/subsistence that the member of staff has in relation to the court attendance should be made via the court system or relevant solicitor, not the University.
  • Attendance at court not required: If, on any day during the court hearing, the member of staff’s services are not required they shall return to work that day.
  • Jury service/court appearance cancelled: Where a member of staff is no longer required to attend court, they should ensure that the leave request is cancelled through Employee Self Service.

Useful/related links


Time Off for Public Duties

Time off for Public Duties

In accordance with the Employment Rights Act 1996, the University will grant members of staff ‘reasonable’ time off work in order to undertake certain public duties*, namely in relation to their role as a:

  • magistrate/justice of the peace
  • member of a local authority
  • member of a policy authority
  • member of a statutory tribunal
  • member of a relevant health body
  • member of a relevant education body
  • member of the Environment Agency/ the Scottish Environment Protection agency
  • member of Scottish Water or a Water Customer Consultation Panel

Before undertaking a voluntary public service, members of staff should notify their Head of School/RI/University Service of their intention to undertake such a role. *Please note that in exceptional circumstances leave for other types of public duties may be granted following agreement from the Head of College/Secretary of Court.

Reasonable time-off & pay

  • Whilst there is no statutory right to pay for time off in relation to public duties, the University recognises the potential social, personal and workplace benefits that can be brought, and shall therefore grant (subject to operational need) up to 18 days’ paid leave* in any 12 month period for the purpose of carrying out such duties.
  • A member of staff who is appointed Chairperson, or equivalent, of a public body and thereby attracts additional duties, may be granted up to 6 additional days' paid leave* in order to carry out these duties. This includes any magisterial duties.
  • Entitlements are pro-rated for part-time staff.
  • Leave authorised for public duties may be taken in days or half days.
  • Whilst requests for time off work will not be unjustifiably refused, the University does have the right to refuse requests for time off that are unreasonable or excessive.
  • Time off will only be granted for attendance at and travel to and from meetings, not for any preparatory work that needs to be undertaken.
  • Expenses relating to travel and/or subsistence will not be paid by the University.
  • Time-off which exceeds the aforementioned entitlement will be granted at the discretion of the Head of School/RI/University Service, and should either be taken as unpaid leave or from the member of staff’s annual leave entitlement.
  • A member of staff who stands as a candidate in a local government or parliamentary election will not be entitled to paid leave of absence during the election period, but may be granted, subject to the agreement of the Head of School/RI/University Service, reasonable time off using unpaid leave or leave from their holiday entitlement. On being notified of their adoption as a candidate in any such election, the member of staff should notify their line manager as soon as possible in order that discussions regarding time off and possible redistribution of workload can take place.

*Where a public duty attracts a fee or an allowance which is equal to or less than a days’ pay, the member of staff should undertake to refund this to the University. Where the fee paid is greater than a days’ pay, unpaid leave will be given in relation to the public duty.

Notification/Authorisation

  • Members of staff should request time off in relation to a public duty through Employee Self Service, ensuring that their line manager is given sufficient notice of the request. 
  • On requesting the time off, the member of staff will be asked to declare whether the duty attracts a fee and, if so, the approximate rate they will be paid. 
  • The member of staff may be required to produce relevant documentation verifying their public duty appointment. 
  • On receiving the request for time off, the line manager will authorise the leave through Manager Self Service, subject to sufficient notice being given, operational need, and the duration of time required.

Time Off for Religious and Belief Events

Time Off for Religious and Belief Events

The University recognises that many religions and beliefs have festivals, holidays or religious events that practicing members of staff may wish to observe.  Requests for annual leave or time off for the observance of such events will be considered sympathetically and, where the request is reasonable, will be accommodated wherever possible.  Further information on requesting time off for such events or holidays can found in the University’s Equality and Diversity Policy (Appendix H) which can be viewed at: Appendix H


Time Off for Volunteer Reservists

Time off for Volunteer Reservists

Volunteer Reservists cover members of the Royal Naval Reserves, the Royal Marine Reserves, the Territorial Army and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

Time off for training

In order to help members of staff who are also members of the Volunteer Reserve Forces (VRF) fulfill their training commitments, the University will grant 5 days' paid leave per leave year for attendance at VRF summer camps and training exercises. This paid leave is in addition to the member of staff’s normal annual leave entitlement.
Any additional time off required in relation to VRF training should be taken from the member of staff’s normal holiday entitlement.
Members of staff should request time off for VRF training purposes through Employee Self Service, ensuring that they give their line manager reasonable notice of any time off requested.

Mobilisation

On being called up for full-time military service, the member of staff should notify their line manager of this as soon as possible, and provide them with a copy of the ‘Call-out for Mobilisation’ notification letter. The line manager should then notify the relevant College/US HR Manager of the required leave.
Members of staff will be granted time off when they are called up for active duty, unless their absence would cause obvious or significant harm to the organisation, in which case the University must apply for an exemption or deferral of the mobilisation.

Any time off granted in relation to active military service will be without pay and all contractual benefits will be suspended for that period*. The member of staff will be compensated for loss of earnings and contractual benefits by the Ministry of Defense (MoD). *Where the employee is a member of a University pension scheme and they continue to pay the employee contribution, the MoD will make the employer contribution for the period of the mobilisation.
Members of staff should ensure, where possible, that any holiday entitlement accrued during the current leave year is taken prior to the mobilisation in order that this is not lost.
Within 10 working days of having been notified of the required leave of absence, College/University Services HR will write out to the member of staff confirming the arrangements and setting out the contractual implications.

Returning to work following mobilisation

Providing that the member of staff applies for reinstatement, they will be taken back on in the same role and on equally favourable terms and conditions as they were on when they were last employed (or as near as practicable). Where this is not practicable, the member of staff will be re-employed in a suitable alternative role.

In line with the Ministry of Defence guidelines, where a member of staff wishes to be reinstated they must notify the University in writing no later than the 3rd Monday after the last day of mobilisation, and must state the date they can return to work which should be no later than the 6th Monday after the end of mobilisation. The University will ensure that the member of staff is reinstated as soon as reasonably practicable from the date specified in the member of staff’s reinstatement letter.


Bereavement Leave

Bereavement Leave

The University recognises the sensitive and often very distressing nature of bereavement, and will endeavour to support members of staff affected by allowing a reasonable time off work to deal with such situations.

This policy is designed to provide guidance on leave which may be granted following the death of an immediate family member or close relative.

Length of bereavement leave

As the circumstances, nature of relationships and required observances of different religions can vary in relation to bereavement, it is difficult to be definitive in terms of the actual leave which will be granted in every situation. The information below provides generic guidance on leave entitlement which will typically be granted following a bereavement:

  • In the event of the death of an immediate family member i.e. a spouse, civil partner, partner (including same sex partners), parent/stepparent, child/stepchild or sibling, the member of staff will be granted up to 5 days’ paid time off (pro rated for a part-time member of staff). This entitlement includes time required to attend the funeral. 
  • In the event of the death of a close relative not listed above i.e. grandparent, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, aunt, uncle or grandchild, the member of staff will be granted up to 2 days’ paid time off (pro-rated for part-time members of staff). This entitlement includes time required to attend the funeral (except where the member of staff is responsible for organising the funeral in which case additional time off may be granted). 
  • A member of staff who need only attend the funeral of a relative or close friend/colleague will normally be granted up to 1 days’ paid leave.
  • Where the member of staff has to travel a long distance to attend/arrange the funeral then, depending on circumstances, 1 further days’ paid leave may be granted.

This guidance is not meant to limit the line manager's discretion as each request for leave will need to be judged on the circumstances of the case and the nature of the member of staff’s relationship with the deceased.

Returning to work following a period of bereavement leave

Where a member of staff is experiencing difficulties following a bereavement, they may benefit from self or management referral to the University’s Occupational Health Unit, or may wish to access the Staff Counselling Service.

Members of staff who are unable to return to work following bereavement leave should discuss with their line manager taking any further period of absence as either annual leave, unpaid leave or sick leave (if the latter, the standard procedures for Sickness Absence should be followed).

Employee Responsibilities

Members of staff should inform their line manager at the earliest opportunity of their need to take bereavement leave, specifying the purpose of the leave.

Manager Responsibilities

Line managers should ensure that all requests to take time off due to a bereavement are dealt with in a sympathetic, considerate and timely manner.

Bereavement leave should be recorded through Manager Self Service.


Special Leave

Special Leave

  • There may be times where members of staff require a short period of special leave (typically less than one month) as a result of an incident/situation not covered by other leave types. Applications for such leave should be made through the Head of School/RI/University Service, and should normally be taken as unpaid leave or from the member of staff’s holiday entitlement.
  • The allocation of and agreement to special leave is not an automatic entitlement, but is at the discretion of the Head of School/RI/University Service in consultation with College/University Services HR.
  • Each special leave request will be examined on a case-by-case basis, and due account will be taken of the personal circumstances/situation of the member of staff concerned.

Academic and MPA Grade 6 and above Leave

Academic and MPA Grade 6 and above Leave

Leave for Academic staff

1. Introduction

This document applies to short absences, absences for outside work, study leave, and secondments for members of the academic staff. It is not applicable to absence on the grounds of sickness, maternity leave, or annual holiday entitlement.

All members of academic staff are required to attend the University in order to perform their normal duties, such as lectures, tutorials, seminars, supervisions, examinations, committee meetings, and any others duly assigned by the Head of School/RI/Service. Unauthorised absence that prevents the performance of such duties, or that otherwise adversely affects the running of the School/RI/Service or University, is unacceptable regardless of whether the absence is in term time or vacation time.

Nevertheless, it is understood that the normal work of academic staff includes activities, such as attendance at relevant conferences and meetings that may entail absence from the University.

During any short absence, absence for outside work, or study leave, members of academic staff must be able to be contacted by the School/RI/Service if required.

2. Absences

A member of academic staff may pursue his/her normal work at a location other than the University, provided that the following requirements are met:

(a) For an absence of 1-4 consecutive working days, the member of staff must notify the Head of School/RI/Service in advance.

(b) For an absence of 5-25 consecutive working days, the member of staff must obtain prior written approval from the Head of School/RI/Service

(c) For an absence of more than 25 consecutive working days, the member of staff must apply in writing to the Head of College at least one month before the proposed absence; the application must be endorsed by the Head of School/RI/Service. The decision to approve or reject such an application must be reported to College/University Services HR Team.

Note: A Head of School/RI/Service's absence must be notified to or authorised by the Head of College.

Note: For the purposes of this document, "Head of School/RI/Service" should be interpreted as Head of College where appropriate.

Note: If the member of staff’s normal place of work is not located at the University then the absences requirement detailed above does not apply.  Instead (s)he should consult his/her Head of School/RI/Service on the requirements appropriate to his/her circumstances. 

3. Outside paid work

A member of academic staff who undertakes outside paid work, such as consultancy work, must comply with University procedures.

4. Study leave

Each College and School should have a study-leave programme that has regard to the following guidelines:

(a) Study leave is an absence of three months or more whose purpose is to enable a member of academic staff to further his/her research or to gain significant new professional experience relevant to his/her duties. Thus it is expected that both the member of staff and his/her School/RI will benefit from the study leave.

(b) Study leave is not an entitlement. However, a member of academic staff may reasonably expect to be granted paid study leave in accordance with College procedures and needs on the basis of one semester in four years or one academic year in eight years. In addition, subject to its academic value and staffing needs of the School/RI, unpaid study leave may be granted more frequently.

(c) A probationer or ECDP participant may apply for study leave, provided that he/she can meet his/her objectives and Learning and Teaching Centre course requirements within the specified time.

(d) The period of study leave normally includes the immediately-following vacation.

The following procedure must be followed:

(1) A member of academic staff who wishes to be considered for study leave must apply in writing to the College, setting out specific goals and a plan of work for the proposed study leave. The application must be made on a standard form, and must normally be submitted at least six months before the start of the proposed study leave. The application must be endorsed by the Head of School/RI.

(2) In considering the application, the College must take into account how well the proposed study leave accords with the strategies and commitments of the College and School/RI, and what resources if any will be needed to cover the member of staff's absence.

(3) The College's decision to approve or reject the application must be reported to the College/University Services HR Team.

(4) Within three months of the end of study leave, the member of staff must submit a report to the College, setting out the study leave's outcomes and relating them explicitly to the goals stated in the application.

(5) The College shall inform the local HR Team whether the report is satisfactory or unsatisfactory. The Head of HR shall consider what action to take in the event of an unsatisfactory report.

(6) Study leave can be either fully or partially paid by the University.

Note: For the purposes of this procedure, "the College" shall mean whatever internal mechanism the College has put in place for the consideration of study-leave matters.

 

5. Unpaid leave

A member of academic staff may apply for unpaid leave, for instance to undertake work unrelated to the member of staff's normal work. The following procedure must be followed:

(a) The member of staff shall write a detailed case for the proposed unpaid leave, including its duration.

(b) The Head of School/RI and the Head of College shall signify their support (or lack of support) by endorsing the case. Where the member of staff is him/herself currently a Head of School/RI or Head of College, the case must be endorsed by the Principal.

(c) Within three months of the end of unpaid leave, the member of staff must submit a report to the College, setting out the study leave's outcomes and relating them explicitly to the goals stated in the application.

(d) The local HR Team shall advise on any contractual or superannuation implications.

6. Secondments

A member of academic staff may be seconded to another organisation. The following procedure must be followed:

(a) The member of staff shall write a detailed case for the proposed secondment, including its duration, its location, and the nature of the work to be done. The case shall be accompanied by a letter, signed by a responsible officer of the other organization, confirming the duration, location, and nature of the work to be done.

(b) The Head of School/RI and the Head of College shall signify their support (or lack of support) by endorsing the case. Where the member of staff is him/herself currently a Head of School/RI or Head of College, the case must also be endorsed by the Principal.

(c) The case must be reported to the the local HR Team.

(d) The proposed secondment shall be approved only if the case shows demonstrable long-term benefits to the member of staff's career development and to the University, and only if suitable arrangements can be made to cover the member of staff's absence.

(e) Following discussion with the Head of College and Head of School/RI, a legal secondment agreement must be signed by the University, the member of staff, and the other organization. The secondment agreement shall cover the necessary employment issues, including pension arrangements.

(f) The secondee's salary shall normally be unpaid from University funds.

Leave for MPA Grade 6 and above staff

1. Introduction

This document applies to short absences and secondments for members of the MPA Grade 6 and above (administrative, computer, library, other related, and research) staff. It is not applicable to absence on the grounds of sickness, maternity leave, or annual holiday entitlement. 

All members of MPA Grade 6 and above staff are required to attend the University in order to perform their normal duties, as stipulated by their Head of School/RI. Unauthorised absence that prevents the performance of such duties, or that otherwise adversely affects the running of the School/RI or University, is unacceptable regardless of whether the absence is in term time or vacation time.

Nevertheless, it is understood that the normal work of MPA Grade 6 and above staff includes activities, such as attendance at conferences and meetings that may entail absence from the University.

During any short absence, members of MPA Grade 6 and above staff must be able to be contacted by the School/RI if required.

2. Absences

A member of MPA Grade 6 and above staff may pursue his/her normal work at a location other than the University, provided that the following requirements are met:

(a) For an absence of 1-4 consecutive working days, the member of staff must obtain prior approval from his/her Line Manager.

(b) For an absence of 5-25 consecutive working days, the member of staff must obtain prior written approval from his/her Line Manager and Head of School/RI.

(c) For an absence of more than 25 consecutive working days, the member of staff must apply in writing to the Head of College/Secretary of Court at least one month before the proposed absence; the application must be endorsed by the Line Manager and Head of School/RI.

(d) This type of leave can be fully or partially paid by the University.

Note: For a research assistant, the Line Manager is the Principal Investigator; the Head of School/RIneeds to be involved in (b) and (c) only if the research assistant has general School/RI duties as well as research duties.

Note: If the member of staff’s normal place of work is not located at the University then the absences requirement detailed above does not apply.  Instead (s)he should consult his/her Head of School/RI on the requirements appropriate to his/her circumstances. 

3. Outside paid work

A member of MPA Grade 6 and above staff who undertakes outside paid work, such as consultancy work, must comply with University procedures.

4. Unpaid leave

In exceptional circumstances, a member of MPA Grade 6 and above staff may be granted unpaid leave, for instance to take up a short-term appointment elsewhere. The following procedure must be followed:

(a) The member of staff shall write a detailed case for the proposed leave, including duration, location, and the nature of the work to be done elsewhere.

(b) The Head of School/RI and the Head of College/Secretary of Court shall signify their support (or lack of support) by endorsing the case. The Head of School/RI must show how the member of staff's work will be covered. Where the member of staff is him/herself currently a Head of School/RI or Head of College/Secretary of Court, the case must also be endorsed by the Principal.

(c) The local HR Team shall advise on any contractual or superannuation implications.

(d) The case must be reported to the Human Resources Service, Admin Section. 

5. Secondments

A member of MPA Grade 6 and above staff may be seconded to another organisation. The following procedure must be followed:

(a) The member of staff shall write a detailed case for the proposed secondment, including duration, location, and the nature of the work to be done.

(b) The Head of School/RI and the Head of College/Secretary of Court shall signify their support (or lack of support) by endorsing the case. The Head of School/RI must show how the member of staff's work will be covered. Where the member of staff is him/herself currently a Head of School/RI or Head of College/Secretary of Court, the case must also be endorsed by the Principal.

(c) The case must be reported to the local HR Team.

(d) The proposed secondment shall be approved only if the case shows demonstrable long-term benefits to the member of staff's career development and to the University, and only if suitable arrangements can be made to cover the member of staff's absence.

(e) Following discussion with the Head of College/Secretary of Court and Head of School/RI, a legal secondment agreement must be signed by the University, the member of staff, and the other organisation. The secondment agreement shall cover the necessary employment issues, including pension arrangements.

(f) The secondee's salary shall normally be unpaid from University funds.


Updated November 2016


USS Pension arrangements during leave of absence

Explanatory Notes on USS Pension Arrangements during period of Partially Paid or Unpaid leave of Absence

The length of time you may be absent, during which you may remain a member of USS, depends on the reason for the absence. If, for instance, the work is of national importance the period may be unlimited but subject to Inland Revenue consent if greater than 10 years. You can be seconded or undergo full-time education connected with your employment for up to 10 years but please note that in the case of secondment, the University must be satisfied that the new employer is aware you will return to work at the University when the period of secondment ends. USS will permit membership to continue in respect of other absences provided the intention is they last no longer than one year. USS must approve in advance all other categories of absence where the intention is that they will last for more than one year.

If your absence is unpaid or partly paid, then you have the option of either continuing or temporarily suspending your USS membership.

Continuing Contributions

Please note the following points:

  • Where unpaid or partially paid leave of absence has been agreed, you may continue to contribute to USS during this period if the University agrees to continue to pay its share of contributions on your behalf. The Payroll Section, Finance Office will inform you of the amount of employee contributions payable and will make arrangements with you regarding their payment.
  • If you are paying additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) you must include them in your payment arrangements -failure to do so will result in your AVC contract being terminated.
  • If you continue to pay contributions to USS, you cannot join another occupational pension scheme in the UK
  • Please note that you are not prohibited from joining an overseas retirement benefits scheme while seconded overseas.

Suspended Contributions

If no contributions to USS are to be made during the leave of absence period, then the period of absence will be deemed by USS to be a period of suspended membership. This means that the period concerned will not count as pensionable service. In addition, were you to die during this period of suspended membership, no death in service benefits would be payable.

You have the option however to pay, during the period of suspended membership,
a special contribution rate to USS that will ensure normal benefits would be payable in the event of your death in service or retirement due to ill-health grounds during the period of suspended membership.

Please complete the attached form as appropriate in order that the necessary pension arrangements can be made on your behalf and return as possible to Payroll Section, Finance Office, University of Glasgow G12 8QQ, marking the envelope 'Leave of Absence'.


Study Leave for Members of Staff

Access the Tuition Fees and Study Leave for Members of Staff Policy here, for full details on special leave for course attendance, examinations etc. 


Other Unpaid Leave

Other Unpaid Leave

Unpaid leave for periods of over 1 month for personal or career development opportunities may be granted at the discretion of the Head of School/RI/University Service.

This policy statement covers periods of unpaid leave other than those already provided for within University policies i.e. Maternity/Adoption Leave, Paternity Leave, Parental Leave and Academic Study Leave.

Authorisation Process

Having discussed the matter informally with their line manager, the member of staff should make a formal request for unpaid leave through Employee Self Service, specifying the duration and purpose of the requested leave.

  • The member of staff should provide reasonable notice of the request for unpaid leave.
  • The request will be considered by both the manager and the Head of School/RI/University Service in consultation with College/University Services HR. In deciding whether to approve or reject a request for leave, due consideration will be given to the purpose of the request, and the likely operational and financial implications of the absence. 
  • The decision to approve or reject the period of leave will be communicated to the member of staff as soon as reasonably practicable. Where the application is approved, Human Resources will issue confirmation of this in writing, which will detail the start and end dates of the leave and all contractual implications (see ‘Terms and conditions’ below).

Terms & conditions during/after a period of unpaid leave

Whilst on unpaid leave the member of staff:

  • will not receive any salary, allowances or other contractual benefits, and superannuation payments will normally be suspended*;
  • will not accrue entitlement to paid annual leave or be paid for public holidays or other days;
  • will not be entitled to sickness leave even where this is medically certified;
  • will be entitled to conditions of service relating to notice of termination, redundancy compensation and disciplinary and grievance procedures;
  • The University undertakes, where possible, to hold the member of staff’s original post open until the agreed date of return. Where this is not possible, for example due to a unit restructure, the member of staff will be offered another job which would be considered suitable alternative work, on comparable terms and conditions to those that they had prior to the leave of absence. Where a member of staff’s post becomes at risk of redundancy during their period of absence they will be notified and consulted with in accordance with the University’s Management of Organisational Change / Redundancy Policy and Procedure.

*In certain circumstances, for example where the purpose of the leave will bring benefits to the University, employer pension contributions may, at the discretion of the Head of School/RI/University Service, continue to be paid for an agreed period so long as employee contributions are made. Where no pension contributions are made, the member of staff will be treated as a deferred member of the pension scheme (for further information on pension implications please contact the Payroll Section).