Additional Leave

  1. General Information
  2. Number of days leave
  3. Paying for the leave
  4. Pension position
  5. Effect on state benefits
  6. Guidance to managers
  7. How to access additional leave

1. General information

Additional annual leave supports the University's Flexible Working guiding principles, and allows you to spread the cost of extra leave over a period of time.

Additional annual leave operates similarly to a salary sacrifice arrangement. You agree to reduce your salary, and the University will provide up to 10 days additional leave each year, subject to agreement with your manager that the work requirements of the area can be met.

Once agreed, the additional leave is treated as a temporary addition to existing leave entitlement, and is subject to the same arrangements as normal annual leave.

All staff are eligible to request this leave once per leave year, regardless of their grade or length of service.

2. Number of days leave

You have the opportunity to submit an application at two points during the leave year (only one request may be made during each leave year).

                                                                              Annual Leave Year 2021-2022
Application deadline: 30 September 2021  Up to a maximum of 10 days (70 hours) leave, pro rata for part-time employees
Application deadline: 31 March 2022 Up to a maximum of 5 days (35 hours) leave, pro rata for part-time employees

Part-time working & working hours above a standard week

If you work part time or are contracted to work more than a standard week, the maximum number of days of additional leave is pro-rated accordingly.

Annual Leave carried forward

If it has been agreed that, by exception, you can carry forward leave from the previous leave year, then the amount of additional annual leave you can purchase should normally be reduced accordingly. For example, if it has been agreed that you can carry forward 5 days annual leave from the previous year, then the maximum amount of additional annual leave you can purchase in the new leave year will normally be 5 days (pro-rata for part-time employees). Line managers should check any remaining carry over before approving additional annual leave requests to ensure that the total amount of additional annual leave and carry over can be accommodated without detriment to service delivery.

When can leave be taken?

The leave can be taken at any time during the year (or half year) and does not have to be taken together as a single block. The additional leave part of your normal leave entitlement is taken first.

3. Paying for the leave

The additional leave is paid for through a reduction in salary equivalent to the salary for the number of days/hours leave being taken; This equates the number of hours additional leave multiplied by your hourly rate, then divided by the number of months (either 12 or 6 months) to calculate your monthly salary deduction.

The total salary is reduced until the end of the leave period by the proportion for the number of days/hours being taken, and the monthly salary is then adjusted accordingly to spread the cost of the additional leave agreed in September over the year from October (or the cost of the additional leave agreed in March over the half year from April). By reducing your salary, the amount of tax and National Insurance you pay will also reduce. At the end of the leave period, salary is no longer reduced by this amount.

Members of both USS and the University of Sheffield Pension Scheme will have to pay the employer's pension contribution for the number of additional annual leave days bought. This will be deducted from your salary automatically.

Example: Grade 4 full-time member of staff purchasing 10 days (70 hours of leave) from September.

Salary of £19,612 / 52.143/35 gives the hourly rate of £10.75

(Part-time and term-time only staff should use the FTE salary to work out their hourly rate).

Multiply hourly rate: £10.75 x 70 hours leave = £752.50/ 12 months = £62.71 monthly cost.

Please note: Members of both USS and the University of Sheffield Pension Scheme will have to pay the employer's pension contribution for the number of additional annual leave days bought. This will be deducted from your salary automatically.

4. Pension position

Taking additional leave may affect the member of staff's pension position; the positions for the different schemes are given below:

USS and University of Sheffield Pension Scheme

Notional salary is used for pension purposes so that pensionable service is not reduced and employee superannuation payments remain as if additional leave is not being taken. In order to maintain a full pension record, staff also have to pay the employer's contribution.

NHS

Any amounts paid via salary sacrifice for NHS Pension Scheme members reduces the amount of pensionable pay, affecting the benefits you build up in the Scheme for that period. This means that taking additional leave, which is deducted via salary sacrifice, will affect your NHS pension by reducing the amount you contribute and therefore accrue within the Scheme. There is no way to mitigate this so you need to carefully consider the impact before submitting your application.

5. Effect on state benefits

As taking additional leave involves reducing salaries, staff should be aware that if their salary falls below the Lower Earnings Limit, their entitlement to state benefits (such as state pension, statutory maternity pay, etc.) will be affected. Staff should consider this before deciding to take additional leave. Any queries should be raised with the Payroll Team.

As the State Second Pension is linked to NI contributions, there may be an impact on their pension, although it is anticipated that this will be minimal.

If you are concerned about the effect of the taking additional leave on your state pension, you should contact the Pensions Team. 

6. Guidance to managers

Managers should consider requests for additional leave fairly and consistently. Managers should consider the requirements and key objectives of the role held by the staff member, and whether the additional leave may impact on the ability to deliver those requirements and objectives. The specific arrangements will need to be reviewed on a case by case basis. It may be appropriate to consider adjustments to timescales or workload where specific pre-determined objectives are deemed to be unachievable as a result of additional leave being taken. Managers would then need to consider whether such a delay or adjustment is practical for the department. If, after due consideration, a request has to be turned down, the reasons for doing so should be given to the member of staff.

7. How to access additional leave

If you wish to buy additional leave, you should make your original request to your line manager in September or March so that the impact on the work in their area can be assessed in time for a submission to be made. If approval is given by the line manager, the Additional Annual Leave form should be completed in the department and returned to the department's HR Team in Human Resources.

Your leave entitlement will be recorded, the Payroll Team informed and the form filed on the your personal file.