Bank Holidays, Closure Dates, Annual Leave and Other Leave

The University provides generous entitlements to annual leave, enhanced occupational sick pay, maternity, adoption, paternity and parental pay, as well as a range of flexible ways to take unpaid time off to deal with responsibilities and demands outside work.

You can find more information below.

Annual Leave , Bank Holidays and Closure Dates

Family Leave

Other Leave (normally unpaid)

Elsewhere on our website you can also find guidance on:

Annual Leave Entitlement

Work-Life Balance

Buy more holidays

Downloand

Our holiday year runs from 1st September to 31st August.  To take your annual leave you need to mutually agree suitable dates with your line manager or team leader, taking into account operational needs.  If you can't use all of your annual leave before the end of the holiday year you can carry-over up to 5 days (pro-rata) at the end of the leave year, with the agreement of your manager.

You can work out how much annual leave you are entitled to using our calculator:

Our staff receive the following generous annual leave entitlements, and can ask to buy more. (This entitlement is pro-rated for staff who work part-time, term-time or academic year only, or where staff join or leave during a holiday year.)

GradeStaff groupAnnual entitlement
(for full-time staff in a full year)
Grade E Support Staff & Research Staff
Academic Staff
31 days
36 days
Grade A to D All staff 26 days
Grade F to G All Staff 36 days

Buy extra annual leave (holidays)

The University has launched a new scheme for staff to buy extra holidays (annual leave).

We’re already proud of our generous annual leave entitlements, and now we’re adding another way to manage your work-life balance.  You can buy up to four weeks of extra holidays - with your manager’s approval - to take before the end of the holiday year in August.

To apply, use the Buying Annual Leave procedure (www.sunderland.ac.uk/hrpolicies) and send the form at the back to your line manager by around the 3rd of the month, who will consider your request and must return the approved form to payroll by 10th of the month. (Your manager must consider operational needs and not all requests can be granted.)  If approved, you can pay by salary deduction through the payroll in one lump sum or over three months.  You can take the extra holidays in the usual way.  See the procedure for full details, terms and conditions.

Bank Holidays and Closure Dates

In addition to the 8 national public (bank) holidays for England, the University has 5 agreed closure days over the Christmas and New Year period.  Our Holiday Year runs from 1st September to 31st August, in line with the Academic Year.

Please note that some parts of the University (including the National Glass Centre) remain open during closure periods;  please contact your HR Manager for more details.  Students may continue to access services such as the Library during closure periods.

   Closure Days from 1 September 2017 to 31 August 2018
Christmas and New Year Mon 25 December  Christmas Day  Bank Holiday
  Tue 26 December  Boxing Day  Bank Holiday
  Wed 27 December  Closure Day  University Closure Day 1
  Thu 28 December  Closure Day  University Closure Day 2
  Fri 29 December  Closure Day  University Closure Day 3
  Mon 1 January  New Year's Day  Bank Holiday
  Tue 2 January  Closure Day  University Closure Day 4
  Wed 3 January  Closure Day  University Closure Day 5
Easter Fri 30 March  Good Friday  Bank Holiday
  Mon 2 April  Easter Monday  Bank Holiday
May Mon 7 May  May Bank Holiday  Bank Holiday
  Mon 28 May  Spring Bank Holiday  Bank Holiday
August Mon 27 August  August Bank Holiday  Bank Holiday

University Closure Days were established by Appendix 13 of the University Agreement on Harmonisation of other Terms and Conditions, part of the National Framework Agreement (NFA).  Part-time staff at the University use our Public Holiday Entitlement scheme for their bank holidays and closure days.

Future holiday years

Public holiday entitlement

The University operates Public Holiday Entitlement for part-time staff. You can work out how much public holiday entitlement you are entitled to using our calculator:

If you work part-time, you can record your public holidays on our form.  You'll automatically take any bank holidays that fall on your working days (just like anyone else).  When you subtract these from your share of publc holidays, you can see whether you already get your fair share of time off, or whether you need to adjust your annual leave (up or down) to get your fair share of time off.

Family Leave

The University recognises the challenging demands on parents balancing work and childcare.  Our policies are designed to give parents more options in how to share the care for, and bond with, your child in the first year following birth or adoption.

To find out if you may qualify for the legal minimum (statutory) pay and leave you can use the following Government calculator:

In addition the University offers enhanced pay for our employees.  See below for our policies.

Maternity, Adoption and Paternity Leave

We offer enhanced occupational maternity, adoption and paternity pay to retain your skills and commitment, which are invaluable to the University’s continued success as a leading centre for Higher Education.

If you're entitled to either Maternity or Adoption Leave or Pay you (and potentially your partner) may also be eligible for Shared Parental Leave and Pay.

Shared Parental Leave and Pay

We offer enhanced shared parental pay in line with our Occupational Maternity and Adoption Pay.

Shared Parental Leave and Shared Parental Pay are entitlements for parents of children due to be born or adopted on or after 5 April 2015. Parents can be the mother or primary adopter (of either sex) and their partner (of either sex); this includes same sex couples, civil partners, and partners in an ‘enduring family relationship’.

To access these benefits you must have a partner who shares responsibility for your child, and one of you must commit to bring your Maternity or Adoption Leave/Pay to an end early and convert the remainder to Shared Parental Leave and Pay.

Both of you must meet certain eligibility critieria, and there are legal notifications you both have to give to your employeer.  There is a form for you to do this in our policy.

In summary:

  • The mother or primary adopter must take at least the first two weeks of their Maternity or Adoption Leave and Pay, but they may take more.
  • From the point at which they bring their Leave and Pay to an end, the rest becomes available as Shared Parental Leave and Pay.
  • This means that a maximum of 50 weeks leave and 37 weeks statutory pay (as above) are available.
  • For our employees, the University enhances statutory shared parental pay in line with Occupational Maternity and Adoption Pay.
  • For partners who work for other employers, if they qualify for shared parental pay this will be at the statutory rate, unless their employer also provides enhanced pay.

Ordinary (unpaid) Parental Leave

Ordinary Parental leave is a separate entitlement to unpaid leave for parents.   You can find this policy as Appendix 6 to the Shared Parental Leave Policy .

Other leave

We are committed to equality of opportunity and to supporting work-life balance, and we have a range of additional leave options available to help you balance work and personal commitments. 

Short periods of unpaid leave

We know there may be times when you need to take time away from work for reasons that don't necessarily fall under our enhanced paid provisions (above).  Our Special Leave Policy enables you to take reasonable time off to care for a child or make arrangements for a child’s welfare; to provide care and attention to a dependant; to deal with emergencies or unexpected events;to take compassionate leave; for public duties.  This special leave is normally unpaid, but see the policy for details of each type of leave.

Longer periods of unpaid leave

You may also want a longer block of unpaid time off.  Our Career Break policy allows you to request an unpaid break form work of up to two years, helping us to retaining skilled staff who have demonstrated their potential and desire to develop their career with the University.

  • Career Break policy [under review - please contact Human Resources for advice if you are considering a Career Break].

This page was published on 30 August 2017