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Annual leave FAQs

What is annual leave used for?

Annual leave allows staff to take paid time off from work for the purpose of having regular breaks to rest and re-energise.

Staff who take regular holidays can be more motivated about their work and perform more effectively than those who do not. They are less prone to accidents and are less likely to suffer from stress because they have regular opportunity to rest.

Annual leave must not be used for the purposes of covering sickness.

Who is responsible for the calculation of annual leave entitlement?

Line managers must ensure that annual leave entitlement is calculated and confirmed to members of staff as part of their local induction.

It is also the responsibility of individual employees to ensure their leave entitlement is calculated correctly.

Can a member of staff take all their leave entitlement within the first quarter of the leave year?

No, line managers should ensure their staff are using leave entitlement across the full leave year. It is advisable for staff to take approximately 75% of their leave entitlement by December of each leave year.

How much leave can a member of staff carry over from one leave year to the next?

The maximum amount of annual leave that can be carried over from one leave year to another is five days (37.5 hours) or pro-rota for part time staff.

Carrying over annual leave should not be normal practice and must be exercised only in exceptional circumstances with the agreement of the employees line manager.

The Trust is unable to pay any unused annual leave as an alternative.

Carrying over annual leave as a result of long term sickness is separate from this arrangement.

Is a member of staff who works part time still entitled to the eight statutory public holidays?

No, as a part-time member of staff the public holiday entitlement would be pro-rota according to the amount of contracted hours the member of staff works.

If a member of staff leaves the Trust part way through the month, will they still be entitled to leave for half a month?

No, annual leave is only accrued for full months worked (e.g. if a member of staff leaves on 17 July they would only accrue leave from April - June for that leave year.

What is the annual leave entitlement for staff who work on the internal bank only?

Bank workers receive an uplift of 12.07% which is payment for annual leave.

Does a break in NHS service still count towards annual leave entitlement?

All service is reckonable when calculating annual leave entitlement. This means that all previous NHS service is added together irrespective of any breaks.

If a member of staff is required to work a public holiday are they entitled to a day in lieu?

Staff required to work a public holiday are entitled to equivalent time off in lieu.

What is the maximum amount of leave that can be requested at any one time?

The standard maximum amount of leave that can be requested is two weeks.

Requests that are greater than two weeks should be made in writing to the relevant line manager and must be approved by the matron for the area or head of department for non-nursing staff.

If a member of staff is only contracted to work six hours on a Monday, for public holidays that fall on a Monday how many hours is deducted from their leave entitlement?

The hours for that day to be deducted would only be the hours they were scheduled to work (e.g. if the member of staff is rostered to work six hours that day, six hours would be deducted from their leave entitlement).

Does an employee accrue bank holiday entitlement whilst on maternity leave?

Yes, from July 2016 any member of staff who is on maternity leave will accrue bank holiday entitlement in addition to their normal annual leave entitlement.

If a member of staff leaves part way through the year how is their public holiday entitlement calculated for that period?

This would be dependent on the number of public holidays days which fall within the required period. (e.g. if there are two public holidays during that period, the staff member would be entitled to two public holidays in addition to their annual leave entitlement. This must be pro-rata for part-time staff).

Can a member of staff book flights to go abroad before obtaining authorisation for the leave from work?

Staff must not book flights before they have obtained approval from their manager for the annual leave.

The Trust is not responsible for any financial detriment that a member of staff may suffer if they have failed to do gain authorisation prior to booking.

If a member of staff is transferring to another role at a different UHB hospital (e.g. staff nurse leaves Heartlands based role to commence a new role at the QEHB) what should the existing manager do with their leave entitlement?

As UHB is one employer encompassing all four hospitals, any member of staff who is leaving a post in one hospital to move to another under UHB will retain their leave entitlement.

The current manager will need to raise a termination form if on HGS payroll and moving to QEHB or vice versa, but they do not need to instruct for Payroll to deduct or pay for outstanding annual leave. Any accrued leave will transfer to their new role within the Trust.

If a staff member is on long term sickness and their sickness continues into the new leave year, how much leave are they entitled to take over?

They are allowed to carry over a maximum of 20 statutory days of annual leave into the new leave year (pro-rata for part time staff).

Managers will need to ensure that if the member of staff went on sick leave part way through the leave year, any leave that had already been taken must be deducted from the 20 days.

Members of staff do not accrue bank holiday entitlements whist on sick leave. Any bank holiday entitlements which fall on a sick day must be deducted from their leave entitlement and kept separate from their annual leave entitlement during their sick period.

If a staff member returns from long term sickness prior to the end of the current leave year, can they carry over any outstanding leave into the new leave year and if yes, how much?

When a member of staff returns from long term sickness before the end of the leave year, then normal leave provisions will apply.

The manager and member of staff must make every effort to accommodate as much of the outstanding annual leave as possible on their return to work. It is advisable to discuss with the individual the possibility of them returning to work at a later date, in order to allow for the leave to be taken. Equally, it can be utilised to top up pay during a graduated return (this is a voluntary option for the member of staff).

If a member of staff has returned to work and the manager is unable to accommodate all of their leave due to service reasons, the Trust will allow the member of staff to carry over the outstanding leave balance. There must be an agreement that the member of staff uses the carried over leave first and within a certain timeframe into the new leave year.

If a staff member has returned to work following long term sickness but has commenced a redeployment trial in another department, which department is responsible for picking up the accrued annual leave?

It will be the responsibility of the new department to accommodate any accrued annual leave during their long term sickness.

If a staff member is unable to take all of their accrued annual leave following long term sickness, can they be paid for it at the end of the leave year?

Payment for any statutory leave entitlement cannot be made. Payment can only be made for contractual leave entitlement.

Payment for all accrued annual leave can only be made if the member of staff was leaving employment.

Statutory annual leave entitlement is for individuals to take appropriate rest breaks from work, therefore to pay off annual leave would potentially be a breach of statute.

Requests to pay annual leave entitlement must be approved by HR in the first instance.

If a staff member is currently on long term sickness and wishes to physically take annual leave, can they do this and how will it be administered?

Yes, legally staff are entitled to physically take annual leave whilst off sick. See paragraph 6.2 in the Trust’s sickness absence and attendance procedure.

Annual leave must be requested by the member of staff and their manager must approve the request as per the normal process.

Managers should pro-rata leave entitlement to ensure that only leave accrued up to that point is authorised. This is to avoid the possibility of overtaken annual leave. The bank holiday entitlement must be calculated separately after all deductions of bank holidays have been made for those that fall during their sick period.

Managers also need to notify payroll via a HR2a to ensure that the agreed annual leave is paid to the staff member (please note: the sickness episode on Allocate must not be closed for the purposes of annual leave payment and must be kept open if the staff member remains unfit to work).

Instruction to pay annual leave must be authorised by a member of the HR team and in most cases a HR Advisor will already be allocated to provide authorisation for this to happen. If an HR Advisor is not allocated, managers must contact their designated HR Site team for authorisation.

If a staff member has pre-booked annual leave and they go off sick, do they get their leave entitlement back?

In accordance with the Trust’s sickness absence and attendance procedure, section 6.1, staff must report their absence in the normal way if they are off sick during a schedule annual leave period. A fit note must be provided to cover the period to be changed from annual leave to sickness absence even if the duration is no more than seven calendar days.

Upon receipt of the necessary documentation the line manager must ensure that the leave is cancelled from Allocate so that it can be put back into the remaining leave entitlement.

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