1. Annual leave entitlement

1.1 All full-time members of staff are entitled to 30 days annual leave
1.2 Annual leave for part-time staff will be pro-rata according to the hours of work.
1.3 Staff who start or finish employment part way through the leave year, will be entitled to pro-rata annual leave entitlement according to the number of months worked.

2. Annual leave year

2.1 The School’s annual leave year runs from 1 October to 30 September.
2.2 All annual leave should be taken during this leave year and there is no general entitlement for staff to carry their leave forward to the following leave year.
2.3 In exceptional circumstances, staff may carry over a maximum of five days (pro-rata)  annual leave to the following leave year providing the following circumstances apply;
a. Their Director of Professional Services/Head of Academic Department has agreed that the member of staff may carry forward the leave
b. The member of staff has taken at least 28 days (pro-rata if part-time) leave in that year (including public bank holidays and School closure days).
2.4 Any leave not taken by the end of the leave year will be lost, unless it has been agreed that the leave may be carried forward as outlined above.
2.5 The HR Self-Service system, MyView will automatically forward up to 5 days (pro-rata) annual leave at the end of each leave year where this has not been taken.  Where this carry forward of leave has not been agreed in the circumstances outlined above in 2.3, the Director of Professional Services/Head of Academic Department should contact myviewsupport@soas.ac.uk so manual adjustments can be made.
2.6 In very rare circumstances where a Director of Professional Services/Head of Academic Services has agreed that an employee can carry forward more than five days, the relevant manager should contact myviewsupport@soas.ac.uk to request a manual increase of the relevant employee's leave entitlement.  An example of such circumstances, would be where an employee who has recently returned from long-term sick leave has been unable to take all their annual leave before the end of the leave year.

2.7 For the leave years 2020/21 and 2021/22 additional provisions were put in place to reflect the difficulties that many people had experienced taking their full annual leave entitlement during the Covid-19 lockdowns. These were agreed with UCU and UNISON.

2.8 Those employed on 30 September 2020 were able to carry a maximum of 16 days from the leave year 2019/20. Up to 8 days could be taken during the 2020/21 leave year, and any further carry-over taken during 2021/22 (up to 8 days). Only up to five of these days could be paid as untaken annual leave if the person left during either year. Entitlements were calculated pro rata for part timers.

2.9 Those employed on 30 September 2021 were able to carry a maximum of 8 days into the 2021/22 leave year, rather than the usual five. Only up to five of these days can be paid as untaken annual leave if the person leaves during the year. Note that people who carried more than five days into 2021/22 from the leave year 2019/20 cannot carry over more than 8 days into 2021/22 in total. For example, someone who carried 16 days in 2019/20 still has 8 days of this leave to take in 2021/22, which is the maximum that can be carried into 2021/22.

3. Booking annual leave

3.1 Annual leave should normally be taken in School vacation periods.
3.2 Certain groups of staff (i.e. term-time only staff or teaching staff) are not permitted to take leave during the School term-times and should refer to their contract of employment for details of when they are permitted to take their leave.
3.3 The member of staff’s line manager or supervisor must approve all annual leave in advance.
3.4 Members of staff should normally give notice equivalent to twice the length of the period of annual leave that they wish to take.  For example, an employee who wishes to take one week’s leave, should give at least two week’s notice in advance.  Staff should bear in mind that the greater amount of notice they give, the more likely their request for leave is to be approved.
3.5 Members of staff should request their annual leave using the School's MyView HR self-service system; managers are responsible for authorising requests using MyView .
3.5 Managers should not unreasonably refuse requests for annual leave, but account should be taken of the need to maintain the service in the section or department.
3.6 Managers are required to retain records on MyView of all annual leave taken by the staff for which they are responsible.

4. Working time regulations

4.1 Under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (as amended), the School is required to ensure that all its employees take 28 days paid leave per year (pro-rata for part-time staff and staff who start or leave part-way through the leave year).  This 28 days leave includes public bank holidays and School closure days.
4.2 It is the responsibility of all managers to ensure that all staff take 28 days leave per year (pro-rata where applicable) (including bank holidays and closure days) and to ensure that details of this leave is recorded.

5. Public bank holidays and School closure days

5.1 The School recognises eight public holidays and the exact date of these holidays can be found in the School calendar.
5.2 Part-time staff will receive a pro-rata entitlement to public holidays rounded up to the nearest hour.  Where part-time staff do not normally work on a public holiday, their entitlement can be taken at another time to be agreed with their line manager.
5.3 The School normally closes on additional days over the Christmas and Easter holidays.  Details of these days can be found in the School calendar.

6. Sickness during annual leave

6.1 A member of staff who falls sick whilst on annual leave and would like the School to treat the absence as sick leave, must provide a doctor’s medical certificate confirming that they would not have been fit to attend work at this time.
6.2 Post-dated medical certificates (i.e. which cover a period of absence which concluded prior to the doctor’s appointment), will not be accepted.

7. Annual leave during maternity leave, adoption leave and long-term sick leave

7.1 For details of annual leave during maternity, adoption or long-term sick leave, please refer to the specific policy.

8. Annual leave entitlement for part-time staff

8.1 As stated above, part-time staff receive pro-rata entitlement according to their hours of work.
8.2 Part-time staff have their annual leave entitlement expressed in hours.   A full-time member of staff is entitled to 210 hours annual leave per year.
8.3 Certain groups of part-time staff (e.g. Term-time only staff and part-time Fractional Teaching Staff) have special arrangements with regard to their annual leave entitlement which are detailed in their contracts of employment.  All part-time staff should refer to their contracts of employment for reference.
8.4 As a general rule and unless specified otherwise in the contract of employment, annual leave for part-time staff is calculated by multiplying the total amount of annual leave entitlement in hours for a full-time member of staff, by the full-time equivalent (FTE).  An example is given below.
8.5 The FTE is calculated by dividing the hours worked by a part-time member of staff by the hours worked by a full-time member of staff (e.g. 35 hours per week).  For example, if a member of staff works 17.5 hours per week, their FTE will be 0.5 or 50%.
8.6 An example is given below, where the full-time equivalent member of staff would work 35 hours per week and be entitled to 30 days or 210 hours annual leave per year and the part-time member of staff works 21 hours per week or 0.6 FTE.
210 multiplied by 0.6 FTE = 126 hours annual leave per year.

9. Annual leave when leaving employment

9.1 If a member of staff leaves part way through the leave year, and has outstanding annual leave, this should be discussed with their line manager.  Where practicable, outstanding leave should normally be taken during the employee’s notice period.   A payment in lieu will be made for any outstanding annual leave not taken before the last day of employment (e.g. where operational reasons prevented an employee taking all their remaining leave during their notice period or in cases of gross misconduct where an employee is dismissed without notice).
9.2 If on the employee’s leaving date, she/he has taken annual leave in excess of their entitlement, she/he will be required to reimburse the School (normally by deduction from final salary payment(s)) in respect of this holiday.

10. Equal opportunities

10.1 The procedures outlined here should be carried out with due regard to any diversity issues which may have affected either the original situation or the current process.  The School’s HR Employee Relations Consultants are available to support colleagues in this area.  Where a diversity issue (e.g. a disability including chronic physical or mental health conditions) has been disclosed to the School, whether prior to the situation which triggered this process or during the process, the line manager co-ordinating the process is responsible for checking with the employee to determine their needs and for making the appropriate arrangements.  Employees who have not previously disclosed a diversity issue which may be relevant to this process are encouraged to do so, as early as possible, so that it can be taken into account.

Updated 30 September 2016 following the School wide introduction of MyView to record annual leave.
Updated August 2021 to include the additional Covid-19 provisions for annual leave carry over.