Leave of Absence and Study Leave (Academic Staff)

Short Leave of Absence (in term time)

This covers a period less than a term during which members of staff have leave for definite purposes approved as being consonant with their academic work or in the interest of the University. Normally there is no deduction of salary, and no replacement teaching, and their duties must be covered as necessary by their colleagues.

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Long Leave of Absence (in term time)

This relates to periods of one or more terms during which members of staff take up appointments to carry out activities for which they are paid by some outside body. Salary is not normally paid, but the University may continue to meet employer superannuation contributions, in which case the employee would also need to meet their own employee contributions for this period. It should be noted that the employee will be unable to continue to participate in the Pension Salary Exchange Scheme during unpaid leave since (s)he will not be in receipt of any earnings.  The arrangements will therefore be outside of the Pension Salary Exchange Scheme

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Study Leave

This is leave without deduction of salary in order to undertake a definite period of research or advanced study (or for similar purposes such as the regular teaching experience required of PGCE staff). There is no regular entitlement to ‘sabbatical leave’. Study leave is a privilege and not an entitlement, subject to such constraints as staff shortages, the exigencies of the curriculum or need to cover income generation.

These constraints may be overcome by concentrating teaching and research in blocks. Since teaching is organised departmentally, these concentrations of teaching and research time must be arranged on a departmental basis. Thus it should be (and is) open to a department so to arrange its teaching that members of the department can have one term in ‘n’ study leave (here ‘n’ is a number depending to some extent on the circumstances of the department). No claim for replacement teaching would be justified, so that full salary would be payable.

It is crucial for the operation of this system that each Department should have a clear policy on study leave and a central record for these policies should be maintained.

If a department operates a ‘one term in n’ system, this should not be seen as a right for all members without control being exercised. The department should insist on seeing and approving a clear academic plan for the work to be undertaken.

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Leave of absence authorisation

The responsibility for authorising short leave of absence will sit with the Head of Department or School; and responsibility for authorising long leave of absence, with the Dean on the recommendation of the Head of Department or School. It will fall to the Department, School or Faculty to ensure that relevant colleagues in Support Services are consulted and advised, as appropriate. This will normally extend to the Finance Office for salaries, tax and pensions purposes; the Human Resources Office for staff records; the International Recruitment Office in cases where staff are travelling aboard; and Information Services and Systems in respect of Library communications and identity management. It will also fall to Departments, Schools and Faculties to maintain consolidated local records of such absences.

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Study leave authorisation

Each Department or School should have a clear policy on study leave which has been signed off by the Dean, and it may be appropriate for records of these policies to be held at Faculty level, as well as being available within the School or Department. The authorisation of study leave within the policy and practice of a Department or School is a matter for the Head of Department or School. When considering cases falling outside established policy the Head of Department or School should consult the Dean.

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