With the new academic year upon us and in line with normal practice we wish to confirm annual leave arrangements that will apply during our business-critical periods for this academic year. We can confirm that the position remains unchanged for the academic year 2019/20 and is detailed below.
The recruitment and conversion of student applications to enrolled students and their retention remains a key strategic priority and in order to achieve the highest conversion rates, the university wants to ensure that all its employees are available, other than in discretionary circumstances, at critical periods in the academic calendar.
Although it is a matter of local determination for line managers to define when employees in their areas should avoid booking holidays, the university has identified specific periods where employees should attempt to avoid the booking of annual leave due to the possible need to redeploy staff to assist with frontline activities.
The relevant periods are as follows:
In all cases, it is the Head of School/Service responsibility to ensure that their operational plans take into account these periods and that adequate cover is provided during the above periods and to meet the business needs of the university. If sufficient cover arrangements are in place during these periods, Heads of Schools/Services have the discretion to authorise annual leave for employees. Requests for short periods of absence for religious observance need the support of the Coordinating Chaplain and will be looked upon favourably, however, operational requirements may need to take precedence.
The President & Vice-Chancellor, in recognition of everyone’s hard work and commitment over this calendar year and to enable employees to make plans in good time, has decided that employee Christmas holidays will begin at noon on Friday 20 December 2019 and extend until the normal opening time on Monday 6 January 2020. No additional annual leave will need to be used by any member of staff other than the usual three days. Some local arrangements will need to be in place for essential cover (e.g. Facilities Department and the Student Service and Library team), where matters will need to be agreed with local line management. The usual communication regarding the logistics of the closure will be issued to colleagues nearer the time by the Facilities department.
For further information, please speak to your Head of School/Service or relevant HR Business Partner in the first instance.
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