Dependant leave provides a member of staff with an immediate, short-term, and limited period of time-off, to deal with unforeseen emergencies or crises relating to dependants. It also provides a member of staff with time off to deal with the death of a dependant or relative.
All staff members are eligible for dependant leave, there is no length of service requirement.
A dependant is the spouse, partner, child or parent of the member of staff. A dependant could also be someone who lives in the household with the member of staff and is dependent on them, for example, an elderly aunt or grandparent who lives in the household.
In the case of illness or injury or where care arrangements break down a dependant may also be someone else who reasonably relies on the member of staff for assistance. This may be where the employee is the primary carer or is the only person who can help in an emergency. In most cases, the amount of leave is one or two days paid leave.
In cases of bereavement the general guidelines are five days paid leave for the death of a partner, spouse, mother, father, son, daughter, sister or brother and one day paid leave for the death of an uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, grandparent, grandchild or mother or father of partner or spouse.
Each case must be looked at on an individual basis. The number of day’s leave granted for the death of a dependant or close relative depends on the relationship of the member of staff and the deceased, whether or not the member of staff is involved with the funeral arrangements, or if the member of staff is a member of the same household as the deceased.
These are general guidelines regarding the number of days a staff member can take for each occurrence. Sometimes staff will be granted longer at their line manager’s discretion or they may be asked to use annual leave/parental leave to cover the additional days.
A member of staff must inform the Head of School/ Department/Unit as soon as is reasonably practicable about his/her absence, the reason for it and how long he/she expects to be away from work. If it is not possible to inform the Head of School/ Department/Unit before the leave is taken, the member of staff must advise immediately upon returning to work. All dependant leave is signed off by the line manager and is at their discretion.