Amendments to the Working Time Regulations have been made to allow workers in Northern Ireland to carry over leave only ‘where in any leave year it was not reasonably practicable for a worker to take some or all of the leave to which the worker was entitled under this regulation as a result of the effects of coronavirus’.
The intention of the change in legislation is to protect the leave entitlements of workers who are required to continue working, without leave, during the pandemic. Therefore it is expected that the majority of staff, including those working from home and those on furlough, should still be able to take their leave proportionately throughout the year, in agreement with their line manager, and the University will expect you to do so.
However, the University agreed in November 2020, that up to 10 days annual leave from 2020 can be carried forward and used across 2021 and 2022. Under exceptional circumstances, the carry-over can increase to 15 days and further guidance is available from People and Culture. This means that there is no requirement to use carry-over leave by the end of March in 2021 or 2022, but this will revert to normal policy for carry-over in 2023.
We would like to stress the importance of taking time away from work throughout the year, especially during these challenging times, to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing.