Human Resources

Leave, absence & working arrangements

Special Leave/Leave of Absence/Unpaid Leave

The University is committed to ensuring that employees are able to balance work and home commitments and to ensure equality of opportunity. It is recognised that there are a number of circumstances, both planned and unplanned which may require an employee to take time away from work in addition to normal annual leave provisions. These are summarised below:

Compassionate Leave



This provision is for employees who have suffered a bereavement of a close relative or need to attend to urgent family affairs or because of the prolonged illness of a family member. Depending on the closeness of the relationship, this provision may also extend to the bereavement of a close friend. It is also for employees who are experiencing trauma as a result of a protected characteristic, for example race or religion, to allow them time to seek help, advice and support. Any long term health issues relating to bereavement or such trauma should be managed in line with the University sickness absence procedure and the range of support available therein.


Leave Period

Leave of up to two weeks can be approved by the line manager. It may be advisable to apportion this time accordingly. For example, some time off at the point of the bereavement, followed by more around the time of the funeral.

If an employee does not feel able to approach their manager they should contact their HR Business Partner. Where a manager feels that they are unable to grant time off under these provisions, they must contact a member of the HR Senior Leadership Team to discuss further before responding to the employee.

Leave of more than two weeks is at the discretion of the Dean or Director. If an employee feels unable to request the time off to their Dean or Director, they should contact a member of the HR Senior Leadership Team.


General considerations

As individual circumstances may vary, it is recommended that each application for compassionate leave is assessed individually by the relevant manager taking the following into consideration, as appropriate:

  • The relationship and caring responsibilities between the individual and the employee.
  • The nature and extent of any illness or treatment required.
  • Whether the employee is involved in making funeral arrangements.
  • Whether there may be a requirement to travel or attend a funeral or ceremony.
  • The operational needs and demands of the institution at that time and the capacity to make alternative arrangements to cover duties.


Emotional and EDI considerations

It is important that managers take the time to listen and have empathetic conversations with each person as an individual around their particular situation. It is also important to be mindful of how much a person may be dealing with at any given time.

From a people perspective, the level of impact can potentially feel heightened depending upon how managers approach and talk through each situation.

The emotional impact can also be magnified dependent upon the individual’s personal resilience, as well their perceptions of how they are treated when they need to ask for help. It is therefore imperative for managers to consider how life situations can affect a person’s overall wellbeing and be aware of how their approach will play a part during such challenging times.

Managers should be aware of the different styles and approaches within all communities in terms of grief and healing.  This may mean people expressing their grief differently to groups a manager may feel more aligned to. Different ethnic groups will have different ways of grieving. For example, some cultures have a marked period of mourning. It is important managers take this into consideration and allow time of for staff to observe such periods, as well as the funeral. For more information, please see the further advice section.


Further advice

For further advice or to discuss exceptional/specific circumstances, please contact the HR Business Partnering Team. Other sources of support and advice, including the Employee Assistance Programme and the University Chaplaincy, can be found on the staff wellbeing web pages. To access this, please follow this link Body | Staff wellbeing | Loughborough University (

For guidance around different faiths and the differing grieving processes, this is a helpful article to expand your considerations.

Unpaid leave


Employees may apply for a period of leave, wherever it is possible to do so, which is unpaid. 


Leave Period

  • Up to 4 weeks’ unpaid leave can be granted at the discretion of the Director/Dean
  • Leave in excess of 4 weeks must be approved by the Deputy Vice- Chancellor for RTE and SSA staff and the Chief Operating Officer for all other staff


Approval Procedure

  • Applications should be submitted at least three months before the first day of the proposed period of leave, where possible.

Jury Service


Jury service is an important public duty. Employees may be selected and summoned to consider the outcome of a criminal trial in Crown Court.


Leave Period

  • Paid leave of up to 2 weeks to attend as required by the court
  • Must attend work on any day or part days when not in court
  • For anything over 2 weeks the court pays an allowance to cover loss of earnings. Your pay remains throughout, although any allowances paid by the court should be reported to Payroll. 


Approval Procedure

  • Employees must inform their line manager as soon as notified of jury duty and provide a copy of the letter
  • Employees must send the Courts Loss of Earnings form to Payroll
  • Employees must send the court’s remittance advice form to Payroll
  • For any queries contact Payroll

Civil or Public Duties


Types of public service covered are Magistrate, Local Authority member, Justice of the Peace, Statutory Tribunal member. (Election Presiding Officer/Clerk or Election Counting Assistant are not eligible).


Leave Period

  • Up to 15 days' paid leave a year
  • Timing of the leave must be with agreement of the Director/Dean.


Approval Procedure

  • This should be discussed with their line manager
  • Employees must notify their manager, on appointment, if they hold membership/office or if they are seeking membership of such organisations during their employment

Volunteer Reserve Forces


This is for employees who are volunteer military reservists, for the Army, Navy or Royal Air Force.


Leave Period

  • Up to 2 weeks’ unpaid leave a year to attend mandatory training camps
  • Timing in agreement with Dean/Director 


Approval Procedure

  • This should be discussed with their line manager

Reservist Call Up


This is where an employee who is a reservist may be called upon to supplement the regular armed forces when required.


Leave Period

  • If mobilised, make a claim from the MoD, who will continue to pay towards the employer’s pension contribution
  • Once service is complete the employee will be able to return to their position


Approval Procedure

  • Reservists will be sent notification 28 days’ in advance if they are being mobilised.  The reservist must contact their line manager as soon as possible to let them know the situation
  • For any queries with regards to their pension contact the Pension Department

Family Leave

For details of leave relating to Maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental leave, parental leave etc, the Family Leave Policy is available at:

Doctor/Dentist/Outpatients Appointments

For details of leave relating to doctor/dentist/Outpatients appointments, the Sickness Absence Policy and Procedure is available at: 

Trade Union Duties

For details of time off relating to trade union activities please see the Partnership and Recognition Agreement for Loughborough University and its campus trade unions - UCU, UNISON and UNITE:


For details of leave relating to volunteering, the Volunteering – Employer Supported Volunteering (ESV) Policy is available at:

Fertility Leave

Refer to family leave webpages