Scroll down

Coronavirus staff guidance University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Carrying forward and selling annual leave

Last updated: 18 February 2022 at 09:52

The last year has continued to present ongoing challenges for staff across the organisation. Where staff shortages have been operationally critical, decisions have been made to stand down annual leave, as part of emergency planning and contingency measures. For some this will mean that they will have been unable to plan and take all of their annual leave.

In recognition of the exceptional circumstances of the past year, to ensure staff do not lose out on their annual leave, the Trust has once again taken the decision to remove the limit on the number of days that may be carried over. Any annual leave remaining at 31 March 2022, can therefore be carried forward to be taken by 31 October 2023 – with a variation for junior doctors where the leave period is aligned to the placement and different arrangements are in in place (further information is available in the guidance below).

For the 2022/2023 leave year, this arrangement supersedes the normal requirement for annual leave carry over to be taken within the first six weeks of the next leave year. Staff and managers must plan out when the leave will be taken. In addition, the Trust will again this year be offering the opportunity for all staff to sell annual leave back to the Trust. The details of the scheme are as follows:

Guidance on selling leave

  • All staff can sell up to an initial one week of annual leave entitlement as follows:
    • 37.5 hours for staff on Agenda for Change contracts
    • 40 hours for junior doctors/medical staff not paid in sessions
    • Up to 12 PAs for consultants
    • Pro-rata for part-time staff
  • All staff have the option to sell annual leave
  • Additional amounts of leave may be sold back to the Trust in exceptional cases subject to due consideration for the health and welfare of the individual, minimum statutory leave and the service needs of the Trust

Levels of authorisation

Request to sell:

  • up to an initial one week’s leave can be authorised at departmental level by a senior manager/head of department
  • leave in excess of one week will need to be approved by the Divisional Managing Director, Medical Director, Director of Nursing or Directors at corporate level, and will take into account the overall leave management plan for the individual concerned

Application

To apply to sell annual leave, please complete the appropriate form.

The process for selling and approving leave requests will be online. Staff will be able to make a request to sell leave from Monday 14 February 2022, by completing an online application form.

The deadline for submitting a request will be Friday 11 March 2022. The final deadline for managers to review and approve the request will be Friday 8 April 2022.

Further guidance is available in the "Selling annual leave: application process" document under "Downloads".

Payment

For both monthly and weekly paid staff the payment for the annual leave will be paid in the May pay run.

Where it is possible to take any outstanding annual leave before the end of this leave year, managers and staff should work together to achieve that in the interests of occupational health, safety and wellbeing.

It will be the manager’s responsibility to ensure that they record the carry over and selling of annual leave requests approved and adjust the annual leave entitlement for staff accordingly.

If between now and 1 April 2022, for staff who end their employment with the Trust and have overtaken their annual leave entitlement as a result of receiving payment for leave, then any outstanding balance will be deducted from their final salary following discussion with the member of staff.

Guidance on leave for staff and managers

To assist staff and managers in the application of this provision, the following guidance has been developed.

Who can carry over leave?

This option is available to all UHB staff. This includes staff on long term absence such as maternity/ parental leave and long-term sickness.

How many days can be carried over?

There is no limit on the number of days that can be carried over, however staff are encouraged to take their statutory entitlement of leave. Staff are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 working weeks per year inclusive of statutory holidays (equivalent to 28 days). The entitlement for part-time workers is calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Where staff have not been able to use their full entitlement, managers will exercise flexibility beyond the procedure limit of one week of contracted leave, pro-rata for part-time staff, so that staff in these circumstances do not lose out on the leave they were unable to take.

When does leave which has been carried over, need to be taken by?

The carry-over of any annual leave not taken by 31 March 2022 can be carried forward into the next annual leave year to be taken by 31 October 2023. Plans to take annual leave should be discussed and agreed with line managers.

Who can sell annual leave back to the Trust?

This option is available to all UHB staff. This includes staff on long term absence such as maternity/ parental leave and long-term sickness.

How much annual leave can be sold?

All staff are being provided with an initial opportunity to sell up to one week of annual leave. The leave can be sold in hours/ PAs or as a block of one working week. Requests to sell leave beyond a week will be considered only under exceptional circumstances and must be submitted to the Divisional Managing Director/Medical Director/Director of Nursing or Directors at corporate level for authorisation.

Can a request be made to carry over leave as well as sell leave this year?

Yes, this can be requested. Please note however, managers must balance the health, safety and welfare of the individual and the service needs of the trust.

Example: A member of staff with over 10 years’ NHS service who works full time has been unable to take their annual leave as a result of the COVID-19 response. Their annual leave entitlement is 41 days inclusive of bank holidays and they have taken 19 days of leave.

In this scenario, they will be allowed to carry over the remainder of their leave, i.e. 22 days (41 days – 19 days), with prior authorisation from their manager. Alternatively, they can request to sell one week of annual leave and carry over the remainder of their leave, i.e. 17 days (41 days – 19 days – 5 days if a 5-day week). The member of staff and manager must clearly plan out when the leave will be taken.

Who will authorise the leave request?

Requests to sell up to one week’s leave will be authorised at departmental level by a senior manager/head of department. Requests to sell more than one week will require authorisation from Divisional Managing Director/Divisional Medical Director/Director of Nursing or Directors at corporate level, and will take into account the overall leave management plan for the individual concerned, their health and welfare, minimum statutory leave and the service needs of the Trust.

Requests that are not sent to the approving manager at the correct level will be returned.

How can I/my team apply to sell annual leave?

To apply to sell annual leave, please complete the appropriate form.

Requests should be submitted by no later than 11 March 2022.

Further guidance is available in the "Selling annual leave: application process" document under "Downloads".

What will happen after the application is submitted?

  • Staff member will submit their request automatically to the appropriate manager who will consider the request and the annual leave remaining and either approve/reject no later than 8 April 2022
  • This information will then be sent to HR
  • An authorised list will be provided to the Payroll department for the payment to be administered and paid
  • The amount of annual leave that the staff member is selling will then be deducted from the member of staff’s annual leave entitlement

What if the request to sell leave is rejected?

The approving manager will provide a rationale for rejection and also must discuss the reasons with the staff member who requested to sell their annual leave.

Requests that are not sent to the approving manager at the correct level will be returned.

My team do not have online access, how can they apply to sell their leave?

An online form is available for Managers to complete on behalf of their staff who do not have access to a computer/Internet during work. The same consideration and approval will be required and submitted to HR.

When will the sold annual leave be paid and how?

The payment will be paid as a lump sum in the monthly payslip. It is anticipated that the payment will take place in May 2022.

What rate will the annual leave be paid at?

The rate of pay will be calculated on the member of staff’s basic salary as at 31 March 2022 for those on Agenda for Change and standard contractual pay as at 31 March 2022 for medical and dental staff in accordance with their rota template/Job Plan.

Will there be any deductions from the payment?

Yes, normal tax and National Insurance deductions will be made from the payment.

Will the payment be pensionable?

No, the payment is not pensionable.

A member of staff has pre-booked annual leave, however their plans have now changed and they do not wish to take annual leave between now and the end of March 2021. As a result, the member of staff wishes to cancel their annual leave booking. Can the manager insist the member of staff still takes their annual leave?

Any requests for cancelling annual leave should be discussed and consideration given as to the reason for the cancellation.

Staff may carry untaken leave over following a discussion and agreement with their manager and /or have the option to sell one week of annual leave by completing the online request form no later than Friday 11 March 2022. Please note however, in the interests of staff wellbeing a line manager will need to consider the interests of occupational health, safety and wellbeing of all staff.

A member of staff has been on long term sickness absence. Will they be allowed to carry over their contractual annual leave?

Staff on long term sickness are supported to take annual leave in order to maintain their physical and mental health and wellbeing through rest and recuperation.

However, in circumstances where an individual does have untaken leave, they may sell up to one week/12 PAs of leave (pro rata for part time staff) and/or carry over untaken leave by specific agreement with their manager. Staff may want to consider using annual leave in advance of any return from absence and to phase their return back in to work activity. Managers of staff who have been on long term absence should discuss the return-to-work reorientation plan with individuals, recognising that a return after any significant period of time out of the workplace needs a period of resettling and adjustment, and also recognising that some staff returning may experience heightened anxiety.

My line manager has recorded me as having booked annual leave on the roster without discussing with me first. Can they do this? 

Managers cannot book leave for staff without having the discussion with the member of staff first. 

If the manager is worried about the staff member not utilising their annual leave proportionately and are concerned that they are not getting their rest breaks, then the manager should arrange to discuss these concerns with the member of staff in the first instance and agree a plan on how they can take their remaining annual leave days.

A member of staff who could have taken their annual leave has chosen not to take it, although the service could have accommodated this leave. Can they be allowed to carry over/sell their annual leave?

Staff should be encouraged where possible to use their annual leave to ensure they receive appropriate rest breaks from work.

For senior medical and dental staff (Consultants and SAS doctors), the leave year often does not run from 1 April but from the date of the commencement of employment.

However, the same principles apply to annual leave and carry over. The manager considering the impact of any restrictions may also wish to look at the leave year dates and the opportunity to take leave before and after any restrictions were in place a pro rata view of the leave year from 1 April may be appropriate.

Where medical and dental staff have chosen not to book or take leave, the same principles apply as to all other staff.

For Junior Doctors (HEE & JSDs) the leave period is aligned to the placement and it is not possible to carry over leave between placements or to the future NHS employers.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the Trust will authorise payments in excess of one week/12 PAs where it has not been possible to take the full entitlement of leave during a placement due to COVID-19 /service needs.

Finally, if a member of staff is unhappy about a decision made on their request for selling annual leave or their use of carry forward of annual leave, they should discuss this with the approving manager in the first instance.

If there is no resolution, they can write to Human Resources Advisory Team by email for their request to be independently reviewed. The outcome of that independent review will be final.

Email: FirstContact@uhb.nhs.uk

Back to top