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 and Public Holiday Entitlement

Work-Life Balance

Buy more holidays


Staff are entitled to annual leave and public holidays/closure days according to the terms of their contract.  Both are normally managed through Employee Self Service.

For staff at our Sunderland campus the annual leave year runs from 1st September to the 31st August and the University is closed on 13 public holidays and local closure days.

For staff at our London campus the annual leave year runs from 1st January to the 31st December and the University is closed on 13 public holidays and local closure days. London’s five closure days around Christmas and New Year can sometimes fall on different dates to those in Sunderland.

In addition to an Annual Leave entitlement, all employees are given a pro-rata entitlement to time off for public holidays and local closure days based on the number of public holidays that fall within their contract dates.  This entitlement applies to both full and part-time staff regardless of hours or work pattern, although in most cases full-time staff have a working pattern which includes all public holidays and closure days. The current University public holidays and closure dates will show against individual staff holiday records in the Absence section of Employee Self Service.

The total of annual leave and public holidays/closure days entitlement is shown as a combined “Personal Holiday” entitlement within Employee Self Service, along with the amount already taken, the amount scheduled (booked or requested), and the balance remaining. Holidays are booked and approved managed through Employee Self Service and Manager Self Service.

Full guidance on Annual Leave and Public Holiday/Closure Day Entitlements can be found here.

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 ( 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.

List of Bank Holiday 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.   These dates will show against individual staff holiday records in Employee self Service.  In some years the five closure dates over Christmas and New Year can differ slightly for the London Campus.

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.

  Sunderland Campus - Public Holidays and Closure Days
2018/19 Holiday Year Easter Fri 19 Apr 2019  Good Friday  Bank Holiday
  Mon 22 Apr 2019  Easter Monday  Bank Holiday
May Mon 6 May 2019  May Bank Holiday  Bank Holiday
  Mon 27 May 2019  Spring Bank Holiday  Bank Holiday
August Mon 26 Aug 2019  Summer Bank Holiday  Bank Holiday
2019/20 Holiday Year Christmas / New Year Mon 23 Dec 2019 Closure Day Sunderland Closure Day 1
  Tue 24 Dec 2019 Closure Day Sunderland Closure Day 2
  Wed 25 Dec 2019 Christmas Day Bank Holiday
  Thu 26 Dec 2019 Boxing Day Bank Holiday
  Fri 27 Dec 2019 Closure Day Sunderland Closure Day 3
  Mon 30 Dec 2019 Closure Day Sunderland Closure Day 4
  Tue 31 Dec 2019 Closure Day Sunderland Closure Day 5
  Wed 1 Jan 2020 New Year's Day Bank Holiday
Easter Fri 10 Apr 2020 Good Friday Bank Holiday
  Mon 13 Apr 2020 Easter Monday Bank Holiday
May Mon 4 May 2020 May Bank Holiday Bank Holiday
  Mon 25 May 2020 Spring Bank Holiday Bank Holiday
August Mon 31 Aug 2020 Summer Bank Holiday Bank Holiday


  London Campus - Public Holidays and Closure Days
2018 Holiday Year Christmas / New Year Mon 1 Jan 2018  New Year's Day  Bank Holiday
Easter Fri 30 Mar 2018  Good Friday  Bank Holiday
  Mon 2 Apr 2018  Easter Monday  Bank Holiday
May Mon 7 May 2018  May Bank Holiday  Bank Holiday
  Mon 28 May 2018  Spring Bank Holiday  Bank Holiday
August Mon 27 Aug 2018  Summer Bank Holiday  Bank Holiday
Christmas / New Year Fri 21 Dec 2018  Closure Day  London Closure Day 1
  Mon 24 Dec 2018  Closure Day  London Closure Day 2
  Tue 25 Dec 2018  Christmas Day  Bank Holiday
  Wed 26 Dec 2018  Boxing Day  Bank Holiday
  Thu 27 Dec 2018  Closure Day  London Closure Day 3
  Fri 28 Dec 2018  Closure Day  London Closure Day 4
  Mon 31 Dec 2018  Closure Day  London Closure Day 5
2019 Holiday Year   Tue 1 Jan 2019  New Year's Day  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

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 3 January 2019