Time off for Civic and Public Duties

The University is fully committed to its civic responsibility within the wider community and as such supports staff in undertaking civic and public duties where this is compatible with individual, departmental, faculty and organisational requirements.

Scope: All employees.

How the University supports this policy:

The University may allow employees to take a reasonable amount of time off during working hours to undertake civic and public duties for roles as defined in the Key Principles.

Key Principles:

  1. As an employer the University looks favourably on staff undertaking civic roles such as those defined in this policy. Managers will decide whether any specific request made for time off can be granted within the parameters of the policy, taking advice where appropriate from Human Resources. Employees should make a request to their manager as far as possible in advance of the time off required.
  2. The following are examples of public roles covered by legislation for which employees may receive a reasonable amount of time off: Justice of the Peace (magistrate), member of a local authority; member of a police authority; member of a statutory tribunal; member of a relevant education body (e.g. the managing or governing body of an educational establishment, the General Teaching Council, etc); member of the Environment Agency (e.g. member of a Water Customer Consultation panel); member of a board of prison visitors or a prison visiting committee.
  3. Requests for time off for civic and public duties as outlined above will be agreed by managers subject to: the amount of time required for performance of the particular duty on the particular occasion; how much time off has already been granted to the employee for public duties; the ability to accommodate the request taking into account the potential impact of the employee’s absence on the performance of their University role, and any impact on colleagues, the department and the wider University. Time off may not be granted where a request is felt to be unreasonable.
  4. If an employee is summoned for Jury service or to appear as a witness they should report this to their Head of Department at the earliest opportunity so that preparations for their absence can be made.
  5. If an employee is a member of the Reserve Forces, please refer to the following guidance on Training and Mobilisation.
  6. If employees are considering a commitment to undertake a voluntary civic or public duty or volunteering activity not defined within the scope of this policy they should discuss this with their Head of Department, who may take advice from Human Resources in considering how subsequent requests for time off may be dealt with.
  7. This policy has been written in accordance with relevant legislation.

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Last Updated: 03/14