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Special leave FAQs

What is special leave?

Special leave allows staff to manage their work life and any personal situations such as an emergency, unforeseen circumstances or public and civic duties.

Is special leave paid?

Special leave can be paid or unpaid but will depend on the length and type of special leave.

The special and compassionate leave procedure outlines the amount of paid or unpaid leave a member of staff may receive, subject to circumstances and management discretion.

Special leave is not an automatic entitlement.

Are there different types of special leave?

Yes, there are numerous types of special leave, some of which have been outlined below:

  • Bereavement or funeral
  • Serious illness of a partner or family member
  • Dependents
  • Parental
  • Urgent domestic
  • Health related

Further details on entitlements and the types of special leave can be found in the special and compassionate leave procedure.

Can special leave be granted for attending an interview?

Reasonable time off with pay will be granted for staff to attend interviews for other positions within the Trust.

Time off for interviews with other employers (including other NHS organisations) must be taken as annual leave, providing reasonable notice of the interview is provided to the manager and confirmation of the interview arrangements may be requested.

What is the application process for special leave?

Due to an emergency, staff may not have time to apply for special leave. However, special leave should still be agreed with a manager before being taken.

If there is time to apply, or on return from special leave, the member of staff must complete the special leave application form.

Can a manager refuse special leave?

Special leave is at the discretion of a manager and there is no appeal process.

If a member of staff feels they have been treated unfairly, concerns can be raised with their next line manager in the first instance. If the staff member remains dissatisfied with the decision, they can seek further advice from the HR First Contact team.

If a member of staff was rostered to work Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday but had to attend jury service on Monday. Would the member of staff be required to attend their shifts or receive a day in lieu for undertaking jury service on their day off?

Jury service is a civic duty and is not classed as work time. It does not count towards a member of staff's contracted working hours at the Trust. Therefore, the member of staff will be required to attend work as normal for all of their remaining shifts.

There is no legal requirement for employers to pay staff when they undertake jury service. However, the Trust has special leave provisions where paid time off is granted for jury service which falls on a member of staff’s working days.

If a member of staff was called to jury service over a two week period and were not needed for a day, would the Trust expect them to come into work?

Yes, jury service is not classed as work time. If staff are rostered to work and are not required on a particular day for jury service or it has ended they are required to work.

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