1. An employee will enjoy annual leave allowances which are determined according to their length of service with a Government Department or a local authority and in accordance with the provisions of Article 43 of the Memorandum of Agreement.
2. In very exceptional circumstances (eg emergencies or disasters ) an employee may be asked to forgo a period of his / her annual leave for which no compensation will be received. In those circumstances it is expected that employees would afford the employer every assistance in order to maintain services but there would be no loss of entitlement.
3. The leave year is the year 1 April to 31 March.
Last Updated - February 2016
Annual leave allowances
4. The annual leave allowance is determined in accordance with the table at Appendix 6 (a).
However no holiday may be taken until 2 months continuous service has been completed with the employing authority.
On the introduction of these revised leave arrangements employees in post will retain their existing entitlement to leave if more beneficial but will progress to further entitlement in line with the revised arrangements.
5. Records shall be kept of all annual leave taken.
Applications for leave
6. No employee may take annual leave without prior permission and an application for leave should be submitted in the approved form to his line manager (or other appropriate person authorised by him) at least 10 days before the date of the first day of leave requested. An employee should report his return to duty on the due date and also furnish details of any leave not taken.
7. Employees should be encouraged to take their full leave allowance and, subject to operational requirements, should be allowed some measure of selection of the period to be taken as leave, though they cannot claim to take leave at any particular period of the year.
8. Every effort should be made to ensure that employees who are due to retire take whatever leave is due to them. Wherever possible, therefore, the last day of attendance should be fixed to take into account any untaken leave. If this is not possible, the arrangements set out in paragraphs 16 to 22 (Cash compensation) should apply though these arrangements are not intended to enable staff to accumulate annual leave with the intention of converting it to a cash payment.
Annual leave allowance for incomplete years
9. When an employee is appointed after the start of the leave year, only a strictly proportionate part of the annual leave allowance should be regarded as accruing in respect of each completed month’s service in that year. The proportionate allowance should be rounded up to the nearest half day.
10. Where an employee's employment terminates for whatever reason during the course of the leave year, the allowance due is a strictly proportionate part of the annual leave allowance appropriate as accruing in respect of each completed month’s service in that year. The proportionate allowance should be rounded up to the nearest half day.
Anticipation of leave
11. An employee may be allowed to anticipate up to 9 days' annual leave during the last month of the leave year.
12. Employing authorities may, at their discretion allow leave to be anticipated beyond the limits indicated in paragraph 11 provided that in the event of the employees’ dismissal or resignation before he has completed 9 months' service in the leave year, a refund of salary or wages is made for any leave anticipated beyond these limits. The refund may be waived, however, if:
- not less than 6 months' service in the current leave year has been completed; and
- dismissal was not due to voluntary resignation or to misconduct;
- the anticipated leave was not taken after notice of dismissal or preliminary warning of dismissal had been given.
Deferment of leave
13. The accumulation of leave from year to year is permitted only to the extent that an employee may carry over up to 9 days' leave which may be taken during the next leave year, unless an employee is retired on medical grounds and is unable to take the carried forward leave, in which case it may attract a cash payment in accordance with paragraph 16 (Cash compensation) below.
14. Any leave in excess of 9 days not taken within the leave year will normally be lost. However, if an employee in post is specifically prevented by management from taking their full annual leave allowance in the year in which it was earned, they should be permitted to carry over the balance into the next year.
15. Annual leave will not be accrued during absences from work for the following reasons:
- absences on unpaid special leave or unpaid sick leave and
- continuous absence on sick leave prior to premature retirement on the grounds of ill health
However (a) does not break continuous service for the purpose of qualifying for a higher leave allowance.
16. Except in cases of dismissal, which are covered in paragraph 18 to 20 payment for untaken leave should be made only in the following circumstances:-
- where the last day of service is known well in advance (as is usual with normal and premature retirement and redundancy) payment should be made only for annual leave which an employee has been specifically prevented from taking by management
- where an employee resigns, any leave outstanding should be taken before the last day of service and may be converted into a cash payment only where for management reasons an employee has been specifically prevented from taking it
- when an employee is medically retired whilst on sick leave, cash compensation should be allowed only for the amount of leave untaken (subject to the provisions of paragraph 10 & 15) when the sick absence leading to the retirement began
- after the application of paragraph 10, payment in full should be made for all leave untaken at the date of death in service
17. Employees leaving employment who have exceeded their annual leave allowance will be required to refund from salary an amount equivalent to the number of days overtaken calculated in accordance with paragraph 21. When death occurs in service recovery should be waived.
18. Employees under preliminary warning or notice of dismissal should not be granted leave which, together with leave previously taken, will exceed the strictly proportionate part of the full period of leave in respect of each complete week of service in the leave year.
19. Employees dismissed for serious misconduct or relieved from duty will be required to refund an amount equivalent to the number of days overtaken calculated in accordance with paragraph 20 if they have exceeded their annual leave allowance.
20. Payments or refunds of pay for days of untaken or overtaken leave should be based on the full daily rate of pay inclusive of all regular allowances and other emoluments in the nature of pay such as Shift Disturbance Allowance, but exclusive of overtime, on-call and other allowances of a reimbursement nature, which would be applicable on the date of termination of service. Payments for untaken leave are subject to the normal statutory deductions but not for superannuation contribution purposes.
The following formula should be used for the calculation of payments or refunds:
((Weekly Pay + Reckonable Allowances) / 5 days) x No of days leave
21. Where an employee on leaving employment is given cash payment in lieu of untaken leave, the payment will not be regarded as a pensionable emolument and service will reckon only up to the last day of service for the purposes of the Superannuation Scheme. Similarly a refund in respect of excess annual leave will not affect the rate of pensionable pay and reckonable service will be determined up to the last day of service with no adjustment being made in respect of the period of excess leave to which the refund relates.
Annual leave for temporary staff
23. The decision as to whether there will be any entitlement to paid/unpaid annual leave for temporary employees (temporary employee means an employee employed for 6 months or less) will be determined by the employing authority and specified in the Statement of Employment issued to each temporary employee on recruitment.
Change of Leave Allowance during the Leave Year
24. When in the course of a leave year an employee becomes eligible for a higher leave allowance, he/she should be given in that year a part of the increase due, proportionate to that part of the leave year remaining, fractions of a day being rounded up to the nearest half day.
Bank, public or privilege holidays falling during annual leave
25. Where a public, bank or privilege holiday occurs during an employee's absence on annual leave, the holiday should not reckon against his annual leave allowance. Details of such holidays can be found in Article 18 of the Memorandum of Agreement.
Sickness during or preceding annual leave
26. Annual leave may not be taken instead of sick leave and shall not be granted immediately following a period of sick absence unless the employee produces either a self-certificate or a medical certificate of fitness to return to duty.
27. If an employee falls sick during a period of annual leave and his line manager is notified immediately, provided that the period of incapacity seriously interrupts the period of leave (ie 4 or more days of illness) and the employee produces a self-certificate or a medical certificate to that effect in accordance with Appendix 4 of the Memorandum of Agreement, the period of illness should be recorded as sick leave and not as annual leave.