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Study Leave and Leave of Absence Policy

Extract From Administrative Handbook

Staff who are sponsored by the University under Tier 2 or Tier 5 should be aware that in accordance with UKVI restrictions, a period of unpaid leave may mean that the University may no longer be able to sponsor the individual and this must be reported to the UKVI. Please contact your local HR Manager for further details before submitting an application for leave.

3.2       Academic Staff:  Study Leave/Leave of Absence

3.2.1    Leave of Absence

Leave of absence is absence from the University which is associated with departmentally-arranged projects or individual activities, e.g. fellowships, secondments or other personal reasons, which fall outside the scope of Study Leave as described below.  Leave of Absence may be paid or unpaid depending on the activity involved.

3.2.1.1 Leave of Absence with Pay - less than four weeks

i)          Leave of absence for a period of up to four weeks (plus two days travelling time if within Europe or a suitable length of time if outside) may be granted by the Head of Department, provided that teaching and other departmental commitments can be adequately covered.

ii)         If a Head of Department grants himself/herself leave of absence for a period of up to four weeks, the Vice-Chancellor via the Personnel Division must be notified of who will act as Head of Department during that absence.

3.2.1.2 Leave of Absence without Pay - less than four weeks

Applications are dealt with as above.  In addition, it is important that the applicant clarifies the proposed arrangements for meeting both the employees and employers superannuation costs during the period of absence.  If an host institution is involved it would normally be assumed that the cost to the host institution would be at a level that would cover salary and superannuation.

3.2.1.3 Leave of Absence with or without Pay - over four weeks

Applications for Leave of Absence in excess of four weeks, with or without pay, should be submitted in detail to the Deputy Director of Personnel via the Head of Department.

3.2.2    Study Leave with Pay

3.2.2.1 Study leave may be granted as a privilege by Council to members of the academic staff, subject to the staffing needs of the University, for the furtherance of specific research projects, defined works of scholarship or specified publications, or for other specific purposes where this can be seen to be to the mutual advantage of the individual and the University.  Study leave will not be granted to enable an applicant to work for a higher degree or prepare a new teaching course.

3.2.2.2 Study Leave is regarded as an important part of staff development.  It is also important that applications are in line with the research strategy of the department concerned and all applications are checked accordingly.

3.2.2.3 Applications for less than four weeks can be authorised by the Head of Department and reported to the Personnel Division for reporting to the Personnel Committee.

3.2.2.4 Applications which are wholly contained within out of semester periods may be authorised by the Head of Department and reported to the Personnel Division for reporting to the Personnel Committee.

3.2.2.5 Applications for periods over four weeks shall be submitted to the Deputy Director of Personnel via the Head of Department for consideration by the Personnel Committee.

3.2.2.6 The Committee will require that applications establish that the project or research cannot equally well be undertaken in the course of the applicant's normal duties; e.g. because it requires an extended period of uninterrupted study or that the work requires prolonged absences from Cardiff and, in either case, that the vacations are insufficient or inappropriate.

Study leave for applicants remaining in Cardiff will be primarily at the discretion of the Head of the Department where it may be accommodated by the re-arrangement of teaching duties.

3.2.2.7 Study leave will normally be granted only to an applicant who has served the University continuously for at least five years.  The normal maximum proportion of any study leave to service will be one in seven.  Thus, after seven years service, up to no more than 12 months leave may be granted.  For the purpose of calculating eligibility for study leave, any previous period of study leave (paid or unpaid) will not contribute to a period of eligible service.

3.2.2.8 In exceptional circumstances, an applicant may be permitted to anticipate study leave provided that he or she undertakes to return to his or her post at the end of the leave and serve the University for at least the minimum period to earn the full allowance for the leave anticipated.

3.2.2.9 An applicant will be required to establish that he or she has a satisfactory research record that may be enhanced by the award of study leave.

3.2.2.10           The applicant may nominate a referee to give his or her views on the proposed project, although the Committee reserves the discretion to seek independent expert advice on the merits of any application.

3.2.2.11           Following the recommendation by the Committee of the award of any period of study leave and where the contents of the financial declaration so require, the Council shall consider the necessary arrangements that will be required to protect the interests of both the applicant and the University.  Such arrangements may require review during or after the period of any study leave that may be granted.

3.2.2.12           A member of staff to whom study leave has been granted shall at the end of his or her leave submit a brief report for consideration by the Committee.  The contents of this report will be taken into consideration by the Committee should any future application for study leave be received from the same candidate.

3.2.2.13           A member of staff who wishes to vary the purpose of study leave from that described in his or her application form shall give details, in writing, to the Deputy Director of Personnel describing the proposed change.  In the light of the new information, the Council may vary the terms on which study leave has been granted.

3.2.3    Procedure for making Applications for Study Leave/Leave of Absence of over four weeks' duration:

3.2.3.1 Applications should be made to the Deputy Director of Personnel who will be able to give advice on the method of application should it be required.  Applications should be submitted via the Head of Department who should attach his/her comments as outlined below to the application.

Applications should be no longer than two pages of A4 paper and contain statements to cover the following:

dates and location(s) of proposed leave;

purpose of proposed leave;

purpose of project work or publication proposed to be undertaken;

-           financial statement of any earnings, expenses or grants it is expected that the applicant will receive during the proposed leave as outlined below;

-           declaration that any changes in the financial statement, subsequent to the application will be disclosed.

3.2.3.2 The applicant will be required to make a financial declaration (relating to financial resources available to him or her during the period of study leave) at the time of application and to undertake to disclose any changes that may arise subsequent to the application.

3.2.3.3 The Committee will require that each application be accompanied by a statement from the applicant's Head of Department, who will be asked to comment on the applicant's research and publications record, to give an assessment of the proposed project or research, the degree of support given to the application by the academic staff of the department and indicate that appropriate arrangements to cover the applicant's duties during the period of absence can be made and that they can be made and funded from within the department's own resources.

3.2.4    Return from Leave of Absence/Study Leave

3.2.4.1 On return from leave (paid or unpaid) for periods in excess of two weeks, members of staff shall submit a brief report for the attention of the Personnel Committee.

3.2.4.2 Whilst it is accepted that any fees or other earnings may be used to defray incidental expenses, the report should contain a statement of substantial employment (lasting say more than a week) and the University reserves the right to review the position should there be substantial employment and additional earnings during the period of leave on full salary.