Holiday entitlement

The number of days' paid holiday to which an employee is entitled in each leave year is specified in the letter of appointment and, for support and academic related staff, in section 3.8 of the staff handbook.  

For staff with less than a year's service the amount of annual holiday allowed will normally be calculated on a pro rata basis.

Holiday accrual begins from the first day of employment.

Holidays are to be taken at times approved in advance by the Head of Department (who will not unreasonably withhold consent). The normal leave year runs from 1 October to 30 September, and up to five days of any balance of the annual entitlement may only be carried forward from one year to the next in exceptional circumstances with the agreement of the Head of Department. Some departments may operate slightly different annual leave year periods (e.g. April to March) due to the nature of the work carried out and/or other external factors.

For further details on the calculation used to determine the value of a day's holiday pay, please contact payroll@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Accrual of holiday entitlement and bank holidays during sickness absence

During periods of appropriately certified sickness absence, all employees accrue contractual annual leave at the rate of full entitlement when on full pay and half rate when on half pay. Contractual annual leave is not accrued during periods of zero pay, neither is additional leave credited for bank holidays which fall during periods of unpaid sickness absence. However, employees do accrue the minimum holiday entitlement specified in the Working Time Regulations, i.e. a total of 28 days' paid holiday (including bank holidays) in any leave year during sickness absence. Where an employee has been absent due to sickness the right to paid statutory holidays is not lost at the end of the leave year. Leave should be taken where possible, and may be taken during periods of sick leave, but may be paid in lieu on termination of employment. In cases of doubt please contact Personnel Services for advice.

Accrual of holiday entitlement and bank holidays during maternity leave

During periods of maternity leave all employees accrue contractual annual leave at the normal rate of entitlement. Where an employee has been absent on maternity leave the right to paid holidays is not lost at the end of the leave year. In cases of doubt please contact Personnel Services for advice.

Leave for religious reasons

By custom, holiday arrangements include (amongst other bank holidays and fixed closure days) a day off on Christmas Day and Good Friday, both of which are Christian religious festivals. In the interests of equality those practising other religions should be given preferential treatment when booking leave on the religious festival dates of most significance to them, providing these days are booked with as much notice as possible in order to assist operational arrangements. The number of annual leave days overall will remain as set out in your letter of appointment. In some departments employees may not be able to come into work on public holidays or fixed-closure days for security reasons; therefore, any requests for flexibility regarding working on these days would need to be considered by each department individually. Administrators are advised to contact their HR Business Partner for advice if required. The main religious dates for each year are available from the Equality and Diversity Unit.

If a member of staff requests extended leave at a particular time for religious reasons, for example for the purpose of going on pilgrimage, the department should attempt to accommodate the request. If the extended leave exceeds the employee's annual holiday entitlement, the excess days would normally be taken as unpaid leave. If an individual requests the opportunity to carry over leave from one year to another for religious purposes line managers should agree such requests if operationally possible.

Leaving the employment of the University

If an employee is leaving the employment of the University any untaken holiday or lieu time should normally be taken prior to the last day of employment. It will be at the head of department's discretion to require that any period of outstanding leave is taken during the notice period. Exceptionally, if an employee has not taken their full holiday entitlement at the time of leaving, accrued holiday pay will be paid, calculated in proportion to the period already worked during the leave year less the value of any days of holiday already taken - bank holidays normally being ignored both in terms of entitlement and days of holiday taken, although care should be taken to ensure that part-time staff are not disadvantaged by this method.

If an employee has taken more than their full holiday entitlement at the time of leaving, calculated in proportion to the period already worked during the leave year, then (provided the employee's contract of employment explicitly allows this, which will not be the case for contracts issued before 1 August 2005) the University may deduct an appropriate sum from the employee's final payment, or alternatively, by mutual agreement, may arrange for the employee to work some or all of these additional days without further pay at a later date.