Speak to your manager if you are a parent or carer and need time off to deal with an emergency

Emergency leave

Time off for dependants

All members of staff have a statutory entitlement to reasonable unpaid time off work to deal with sudden emergencies involving a dependant and to make any necessary longer term arrangements.

Who is a dependant?

A dependant is defined as a

  • spouse or
  • child or
  • parent or
  • a person living in the same household as the member of staff, such as a partner, elderly aunt or grandparent.
  • It does not include tenants, lodgers or boarders.

In certain circumstances a dependant may also be someone who reasonably relies on the member of staff for assistance. This could be an elderly relative who lives nearby where the member of staff is the primary carer or the only person who can help in an emergency.

In what circumstances can emergency leave be taken?

You will be entitled to time off to deal with the following types of emergencies:

  • a dependant falls ill, is injured or assaulted, or gives birth
  • childcare or other care arrangements unexpectedly break down
  • longer term care arrangements need to be made for a dependant who is unexpectedly ill or injured
  • your child is involved in an unexpected incident during school hours

Emergency leave does not include longer term care requirements, such as childcare or long term illness of a sick relative. In these circumstances you will be expected to use annual leave or flexible working arrangements.

How much time off does this allow?

There is no set amount of time off, but the amount of time off work should be reasonable in the particular circumstances of the emergency. It should be sufficient to deal with the immediate problem and to arrange alternative longer term care if necessary. It is anticipated that one or two days will be the most that is needed.

However, this policy does provide an extension of compassionate leave by use of annual leave or unpaid leave or additional paid compassionate leave in certain emergency situations, by agreement with senior management and Human Resources.

How much notice do I need to give?

As soon as is reasonably practicable, you should notify your College Dean, manager or supervisor (or in accordance with the usual College/Service procedure for notification of absence) of the reason for your absence and keep them informed of the likely duration of this absence.

You should ensure that you discuss your absence with your College Dean or manager as soon as is reasonably practicable upon return to work. It must be agreed whether the time off is with pay (ie taken as annual leave or additional paid compassionate leave); without pay; or if the time will be made up.  Any unpaid leave must be notified to your HRBP as soon as possible so that salary adjustments can be made.