What constitutes a serious domestic emergency?
The Trust’s special and compassionate leave procedure states that staff can request one paid day in any financial year when there is a serious domestic emergency (e.g. flood, fire, burglary or other unexpected serious domestic incident).
Paid special leave examples
It is not possible to list every type of situation that may occur, however some examples of when one day’s paid special leave could be granted are as follows:
- Serious flood to the member of staff’s normal place of residence caused by torrential rain, burst water main, overflowing river etc. where the occupants have no option other than to vacate the property
- Serious fire, explosion, weather or collision damage to the member of staff’s normal place of residence where the occupants have no option other than to vacate the property
- Serious burglary at the member of staff’s normal place of residence requiring immediate police presence and/or securing of the property following forced entry
The Trust accepts that in circumstances such as these, one day’s special leave may not be enough time to deal with the situation which has occurred and a request to take annual or unpaid leave or time off in lieu at short notice will be considered sympathetically.
Unpaid special leave examples
The Trust will not usually grant paid special leave where emergencies of a more minor nature occur such as:
- Minor escape of water from washing machine, dishwasher, overflowing sinks or burst pipe at a member of staff’s normal place of residence which can be contained or mopped up within a few hours of discovery
- Fire or smoke damage contained to a single room at a member of staff’s normal place of residence where no immediate or urgent repairs are required
- Minor theft where the police do not consider an immediate response necessary or where no immediate or urgent security repairs are required
The Trust accepts that in circumstances such as these, staff may need a short period of unplanned time off work to deal with the situation and a request to take annual or unpaid leave or time off in lieu at short notice will be considered sympathetically.
The length of time granted off, should only be for the purposes of making alternative arrangements, therefore half working days, or a few hours can also be considered.
Questions to consider if special leave is being requested for a serious domestic emergency include:
- How much time will I realistically need to deal with this emergency?
- Is there a friend or family member who could help out whilst I am at work?
- Can any arrangements be made by telephone during breaks?
- Can I change my working hours/pattern in order to deal with the issue without disruption to my ward, team or department?
- Would I cancel a planned social engagement or event to deal with this issue?