Public Duties and Volunteering

Guidelines for Staff involved in Public Duties, Volunteer Reserve Forces and Volunteering

Public Duties

The University recognises that it has a civic responsibility to allow staff to take on public duties. This document provides guidelines for such staff and their managers. It applies to all categories of staff. It is intended to cover activities such as acting as a Justice of the Peace, as a Local Authority Councillor or as a School Governor.

These guidelines are not intended to restrict involvement in public duties but to codify and to record it. Nevertheless, they recognise that the University's priority must be to use its resources in the most effective way in order to pursue its own objectives.

1. The University provides for a maximum of 18 days' paid absence for public duties during any rolling 12-month period.

2. The 18 days may be taken in whole or part days.

3. A member of staff taking on public duties should discuss with his or her head of department how these can best be accommodated to minimise disruption within the department.

4. It is recognised that for some public duties 18 days of absence may be inadequate. It should not be exceeded without prior discussion with the Head of Department, who may allow up to a further 15 days per annum. This extra allowance will be based on the needs of the individual case, taking into account:

5. The Head of Department should try to accommodate the request for extra time when satisfied that the above factors have been properly taken into account. There may however be cases where line management have to refuse: the member of staff may choose to take a complaint through the normal grievance procedure.

6. The University will expect some record to be kept of absences on public duty. This should normally be incorporated in the departmental record covering other forms of absence (sickness, holidays, etc) but kept as a separate category. Other than the time off which has been booked in advance (or, exceptionally, recorded after the event) the University will expect normal standards of attendance and timekeeping to be maintained.

7. In some cases, people carrying out public duties may encounter difficulties in balancing the demands of those duties with the needs of their job in the University. Human Resources Services may be able to offer advice on the operation of these guidelines as they apply in particular cases.

8. Subject to the above, the member of staff will receive normal full pay for all agreed periods of absence taken under these guidelines.

(Back to top)

Volunteer Reserve Forces

The University will grant, in addition to the normal leave entitlement, five days leave with pay for employees who are required to attend training exercises, summer camps etc. This provision complements (but is not intended to be taken in addition to) the time off permitted for public duties.

(Back to top)

Other Volunteering Activities

The University has agreed that all University staff may take one additional day of paid leave in any rolling 12-month period to participate in volunteering activities.

Volunteering activities may take many forms, with an aim to benefit the environment, an individual / group, or the wider community.

This in an optional commitment of the individual’s time and effort and is not for financial gain. Volunteering is encouraged as part of the 5 ways for wellbeing.

This provision complements time off permitted for public duties.

(Back to top)