Now that term has finished, although we are heading into the winter break we are still taking Action Short of a Strike. We thought now was a good time to remind our members of our contractual entitlements around annual leave and discretionary days.
Hopefully, all our members are aware of the days of annual leave they are entitled to each year in their contract (although whether we are able to take them all every year is a different matter). What’s less well publicised is that in addition to annual leave, colleagues are entitled to a number of discretionary or closure days identified by the college; you can see the days for 2019 to 2020 here.
As stated in the college’s guidance notes for annual leave, staff have the following annual leave entitlements:
Staff in Grades 1-5: 20 days plus 8 Bank Holidays and 6 Closure Days designated by the College
Staff in Grades 1-5 who reach five years’ continuous service between 1st August and 30th November receive 3 extra days with immediate effect. Staff who reach five years’ continuous service between 1st December and 31st March receive 2 extra days in the current annual leave year and the further day in the following leave year. Staff who reach five years’ continuous service between 1st April and 31st July will receive 1 extra day in the current annual leave year and the further 2 days in the following leave year.
Staff in Grades 6-10: 27 days plus 8 Bank Holidays and 6 Closure Days designated by the College.
Academic Staff: 27 days plus 8 Bank Holidays and 6 Closure Days designated by the College.
We note that this year, we have an additional discretionary day since Christmas Eve falls on a Tuesday – a welcome gesture from senior management. This means the college is closed from Monday 23rd December 2019 and does not reopen until Thursday 2nd January 2020. Since we are working to contract as part of our action short of a strike, we recommend that our members take these discretionary days seriously and do not work during this period. We are contractually obliged to this time in addition to any other annual leave we may be taking, and it is important to give ourselves time to recover and refresh ourselves for the important work of the spring term. You should also not record these discretionary days as annual leave, since they are a separate part of your annual leave entitlement.
If you can foresee problems with, for instance, turning around coursework marking within the college’s stated deadlines which will be caused by this much-needed and welcome break in our regular activity, you should e-mail your line manager immediately to inform them of the likely impact.
We wish all our members a restful and restorative holiday, and hope that we all begin 2020 refreshed and energised for whatever may lie ahead.