Coronavirus (Covid-19) updates for staff and students

Annual leave

Information and guidance around taking annual leave, including carrying forward untaken leave and going abroad on holiday.

General encouragement to take leave  

In line with our Annual Leave Policy, it is important that staff have regular breaks from work, even if this work is being done from home.  This is perhaps more critical to everyone’s health and wellbeing during this time of unprecedented and considerable change. 

As in 2020, all staff will be expected to have taken between 40 and 60% of their accrued leave by the start of Semester 1 in mid-September 2021.  

Staff who were placed on furlough or temporary paid leave will be required to take all of the leave they accrued while on furlough/temporary leave before they return to work.

They must agree with their manager when they will be on annual leave as they do not have to remain contactable and available to return to work while on annual leave.

Carrying forward untaken leave 

Our Annual Leave Policy allows staff to carry forward up to 5 days annual leave into the next holiday year, to be taken by the end of March. In recognition of the challenges presented during 2020, due to Covid-19, staff were able to carry forward up to 10 days annual leave into the 2021 holiday year, to be taken by the end of December 2021. 

While we would strongly encourage staff to take all of their leave this year and revert to the normal 5 days carry-forward into 2022, staff unable to do so for operational reasons may, with their manager’s agreement, carry forward up to 10 days annual leave into the 2022 holiday year, to be taken by the end of December 2022.

This additional carry forward is for the 2022 calendar year only and will revert to the usual carry-over allowance of 5 days in 2023, to be taken by March 2023. All annual leave carry forward is pro-rated for staff who work part time.

Falling sick or being required to self-isolate while on annual leave

(Updated 18 January 2022) 

If you develop symptoms of the virus or have to self-isolate for any other reason, while on annual leave, you may reclaim the annual leave that you have lost to take at another time. To do so you must contact your manager/designated contact in your School/Department on your first day of sickness/self-isolation and you will also need to complete the Staff Covid-19 Reporting Form:

Inform the University if you're self-isolating

As you are advised not to visit your GP, you may not be able to obtain a Fit Note. In these circumstances, the University will not require you to provide a Fit Note for any sickness absence of 28 days or less. This applies to all absences which start between 10th December 2021 and 26th January 2022 inclusive.

For absences starting on or after 27th January 2022, you will be required to provide a fit note for any Coronavirus-related absence lasting 10 days or more, and for any other sickness absence lasting 8 days or more.

Please note that all other aspects of the Absence Management policy remain, including but not limited to the requirement to keep in regular contact with your manager or designated person.

Note: the reclaiming of annual leave does not apply if you have returned from a country which requires you to self-isolate on your return to the UK

Recording annual leave whilst on furlough 

You need to submit your request as normal through People and Money and this should be in hours. Your manager will approve your request as normal. If you are on flexible furlough, you will still need to request the equivalent of your normal working day. For example, if you would normally work a 7 hour day, you need to request 7 hours’ leave.