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Annual leave policy


The College has excellent annual leave arrangements. It is something that we value for all our employees; a time to refresh at times throughout the year. All Birkbeck employees have the same pro-rata amount of leave.

Managers are encouraged to enable all of their employees to take all of their annual leave during the course of the year. Employees are encouraged to take all of their annual leave during the course of the year.


This policy applies to all employees whose terms and conditions have been harmonised under the National Framework Agreement.



The annual leave year is 1 January to 31 December, unless varied by specific arrangement. Annual leave entitlement for full-time employees is 25 days. 

Academic employees have flexible working arrangements reflecting the nature of their jobs. Leave entitlement is standardised as outlined above.

Where more generous arrangements have been formally agreed, for example in relation to TUPE or associated with the implementation of the National Framework Agreement, then these will take precedence.

Good practice advocates advance notice of requests for annual leave and also that leave taken is monitored.


The College recognises the following eight English bank holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • May Day Bank Holiday
  • Spring Bank Holiday
  • August Bank Holiday
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day.

Time off lieu will be confirmed when employees are asked to work on a bank holiday in line with the arrangements in the Hours of work, overtime and TOIL policy.


The College closes for normal business during the Christmas and Easter leave period. These days are referred to as College closure days. There are six College closure days in total. Birkbeck employees enjoy paid leave at this time. As with public holidays, a pro-rata entitlement will be given to part-time employees, which they must deduct each time there is a College closure day, where this is a day where they would otherwise have been working.


Birkbeck will support requests for time off during religious festivals, including those not covered in agreed leave arrangements. Time off, in the form of annual leave, will be agreed at these times with reference to College needs and requirements and employees must use their annual leave entitlement for this purpose. Employees must advise their line manager that this is likely to occur, to enable the effective planning of leave arrangements.


All employees receive paid time off as annual leave. This is pro-rata for part-time employees. Birkbeck has harmonised its terms and conditions of employment, including annual leave, so that all employees receive an equivalent entitlement regardless of their pattern of work.


Leave may be carried over to the next annual leave year. This must be agreed in advance with the line manager. A maximum of five days' leave may be carried forward to the following leave year. For part-time employees this will be pro-rata. Employees on maternity leave will be able to carry over their statutory annual leave entitlement.

All leave not given permission to be considered as carry over leave will be lost. The College will not pay employees for leave not taken as an alternative to carrying it over to the next leave year.


New employees joining the College part way through a leave year will be granted a proportion of the annual leave entitlement for each completed calendar month of service during that leave year. This will be calculated as a proportion of the leave year. Employees changing jobs within the College are encouraged to use their accrued leave prior to moving to their new role or to gain prior agreement with their new line manager to carry over accrued leave.


Employees leaving the College are expected to take any outstanding leave entitlement during their notice period. Outstanding leave dates must be agreed with the line manager. Where this is not possible due to the constraints of the service, employees may receive payment for any days leave carried over from the previous leave year, and the proportion of entitlement for the period during which they have worked during the final leave year.


Annual leave may continue to accrue when the employee is absent from the College. This will only apply in specific circumstances such as maternity leave, adoption leave, paternity leave, and long-term sickness absence. Please refer to the relevant leave or absence policy for further guidance.

View our annual leave guidance (Birkbeck staff only).


All Birkbeck employees are responsible for managing their own annual leave. This summary makes this clear.


Responsible for:

  • keeping a record of annual leave allowance and leave taken
  • identifying well in advance situations where the amount of leave untaken may lead to difficulties.


  • Will authorise and monitor annual leave for their employee.
  • Will assist employee in identifying situations where the amount of leave untaken may lead to difficulties.


Responsible for:

  • providing guidance on the policy.


  • Policy: Annual leave policy
  • Applicable to: All employees
  • Date last reviewed: December 2023
  • Policy management: Human Resources
  • Approved by HRSPC: 11 May 2022