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Purchase of Additional Leave

Purchase of Additional Leave

The University is committed to providing policies and arrangements which promote and support work-life balance for its employees. The University recognises that some employees may wish to increase their annual leave entitlement for personal reasons such as a special occasion or an extended overseas holiday or to take additional holiday for caring responsibilities. The Policy on the Purchase of Additional Leave will provide a facility for staff in Professional Services roles to purchase additional leave to fulfill these personal obligations and to support the wellbeing of staff by providing a mechanism to manage personal commitments in a planned way. The Policy will allow staff to spread the cost over a full year.

This webpage aims to guide you through the University of Exeter Policy on Purchase of Annual Leave including the eligibility needed to apply, the procedure for applying and additional frequently asked questions. If you have any further questions, please contact your line manager or your HR Business Partner/Adviser.

  • Staff wishing to purchase additional leave are encouraged to discuss their requests informally with their line manager at the earliest opportunity so that the impact on the work in their area can be assessed in time for a formal submission to be made.
  • Employees should submit a formal application using the online form, which will automatically be forwarded to their line manager for approval.
  • The employee is responsible for ensuring their approved application is with Human Resources during the window of opportunity but by 30th November at the latest.  Forms received by HR after these dates will not be processed.
  • Where approved, the leave entitlement will be added to the employee's annual leave entitlement on iTrent and the application form retained on the employee's personal file.  The employee will need to request the leave via iTrent as per normal annual leave application.
  • There will be no right of appeal if an application is not supported.

Managers should consider requests for additional leave fairly and consistently. The specific arrangements will need to be reviewed on a case by case basis.

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.

It may be appropriate to consider adjustments to timescales or workload where specific pre-determined objectives are deemed to be achievable as a result of a request for additional leave being approved.  Managers should consider whether such a delay or adjustment is practical for the department.

There may be reasons where it is not possible to agree an employee's request to purchase additional annual leave.  For example:

  • There may be operational deadlines which occur over the summer when an employee hopes to take the additional leave
  • Objectives, service standards or deadlines are not likely to be met within the reduced working time
  • Granting additional leave may place undue pressure onto the employee's colleagues/other team members or mean that they cannot take their own annual leave
  • Additional leave may already have been granted to another team member/s

When operating concerns about granting additional leave are identified, the manager should discuss these with the employee and either decline the request or discuss alternative options, for example, agreement of one week's additional leave rather than the two weeks requested. 

If, after due consideration, a request has to be turned down, the reasons for doing so should be given to the member of staff by their manager.

The staff member is responsible for ensuring their approved application is with Human Resources by 30 November.  Any applications received after this date will not be processed.

Purchase of Additional Leave - Managers Guidance