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Durham University

Human Resources & Organisational Development

Leave of absence

Leave of absence policy and procedures were agreed by Council in Summer Term 2001, as follows:

Heads of Departments have the authority to grant to academic staff paid leave of absence of up to 10 working days, whether in term or out of term, provided they are satisfied that the individual's assigned duties and responsibilities are covered satisfactorily.

Requests for leave of absence of more than 10 working days in term or out of term require central permission from the Director of Human Resources acting on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor. Appropriate documentation (letter from member of staff outlining reasons for absence, funding approval, how assigned duties including teaching will be covered and proposed dates together with confirmatory letter of approval from Head of Department) may be sent by email to

Requests from Heads of Departments for leave of absence of 3 days or more require central permission and shall only be approved if there is a designated Acting Head of Department for the period in question. Similar documentation to the above should be forwarded to the Director of Human Resources.

Requests for unpaid leave should continue to be sent to the Director of Human Resources for approval so that payroll/superannuation arrangements can be confirmed.

You should be aware that some leave can have implications for income tax, national insurance and pension contributions. Please contact Richard Walters in Pensions on 46951 or Dean Lloyd on 46888 for clarification on whether you will be affected.

Leave of absence should be recorded in Oracle.

If employees are absent from their base of work for any length of time, it is the responsibility of the employee to have their personal possessions collected in a timely manner or to arrange with the line manager for them to be stored, if this is possible.

Note that this policy applies to leave of absence only. Requests to take annual leave are determined by Heads of Departments.