Taking annual leave

Book annual leave

Log in to HR Organiser to book annual leave

Need help? See the information on how to use HR Organiser.

Annual leave entitlement

Every employee is entitled to annual leave as specified in your contract of employment. Annual leave allows employees to take paid time off from work.

Annual leave entitlement runs from 1 August to 31 July each year. Everyone is encouraged to take their yearly holiday entitlement during this period. Sometimes events outside of our control arise and time away from work is required, there are a number of other types of leave that can support you in this instance, therefore you don't need to store your annual leave.

Unused annual leave

  • All annual leave must be taken in the leave year in which it accrues (1 August to 31 July), and everyone should ensure they plan ahead to book leave through the year, in consultation with their line manager.
  • All leavers are required to take their accrued annual leave before their last day of employment and again should work with their line manager to ensure this is managed in a planned way.
  • Exceptional request for the payment of annual leave at the end of employment must be approved in advance by the Director of People & Culture.
  • Unused annual leave remaining at the end of the leave year will be lost. 

An exception may be agreed only based on one of the following reasons:

  • long-term sickness absence, maternity/adoption leave or shared parental leave
  • individuals have been refused requests for leave because of demands of work
  • exceptional circumstances, such as the need to attend an overseas wedding in the following leave year

Christmas closure and bank holidays

For University of Essex staff, in addition to the annual leave entitlement, you also are entitled to bank holidays and the University closure days. There are eight bank holiday dates across a year and normally three closure dates. The closure dates are between Christmas and New Year when the University closes and you are given those closure days in addition to your annual leave and bank holiday entitlement.

How annual leave is managed

All University staff bank holiday and University closure days are added to your annual holiday entitlement within the absence section in HR Organiser. You will see that these set days are deducted from the total number of hours you have available to book at the beginning of each leave year.  Therefore the value you are left to book as annual leave is after the bank holiday and closure days have been deducted.

Calculating your annual leave

Calculators can be used to work out your annual leave, bank holidays and closure day entitlement for each leave year.



Annual leave days and hours converter

Annual leave for part-time staff

If you're part-time you receive an entitlement to bank holidays/closure days which is pro-rata to the full-time entitlement. For example, if you're part-time and always work on a Monday you would benefit from taking off all bank holidays which fall on Mondays, whilst if you are part-time and do not work on a Monday you would not. By calculating pro-rata entitlements, all staff are able to take off their pro-rata entitlement whatever days of the week they work.

If you're part-time and work the same number of hours each day over a five-day working pattern you will not need your pro-rata entitlement calculating, as you work on each day and therefore you are entitled to each of the bank holidays/closure days.

If you're part-time and don't work a five-day standard pattern you will be able to determine your pro-rata entitlement using one of the annual leave and bank holiday calculators provided above.

Calculation of pro-rata holiday entitlement

For each leave year (April - March) the number of bank holidays/closure days within that leave year is shown in the calculator. The pro-rata entitlement is calculated in hours where each full-time day is equivalent to 7.2 hours. The number of hours that you should have worked on the bank holiday/closure days is deducted from your entitlement.

If your working pattern means you have more bank holidays in your working pattern due to the days the bank holidays fall on, it's possible to have a negative entitlement, depending on your working pattern and how the bank holiday and closure days fall in a particular year. If you have a negative entitlement this means that you owe the University that number of hours shown, and this amount will be deducted from your total annual leave entitlement within HR Organiser.

Starting or leaving your part-time job

If you start or leave your part-time job (and you're not working a standard five-day pattern) during the holiday year, the number of weeks you're due to work during the leave year should be entered in the calculator to determine your entitlement for the part of the year you're working.

Changing your hours of work during the holiday year

If you're part-time (and not working a standard five-day pattern) and you change your hours of work during the holiday year the pro-rata bank holiday/closure day entitlement will need to be calculated in separately for each period you worked different hours. These will then be added together to give you your full years entitlement. 

Get in touch
Employee Relation Assistant Team