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Guidance

What is Special Leave? 
We use the term ‘special leave’ to describe time off from work for employees to deal with domestic emergencies, the serious illness or death of a partner, family member or relative, close friend or colleague or for short term carer leave.

This type of leave is also used when time off is needed for public or civic duties such as jury service or if you are member of, for example, the Children’s Panel.

Am I entitled to Special Leave to deal with an emergency? 
Yes. All employees are provided with the right to take a reasonable period of paid time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependant and not to be dismissed, or victimised, for doing so.

How much time off am I entitled to?
The legislation covering this type of time off does not provide a set amount of time off which can be taken but it is widely regarded that, in most cases, the amount of leave will be limited to one or two days at the most

Does Special Leave cover domestic emergencies too?
Yes. Up to one working week can be allocated as paid leave to deal
with urgent and unforeseen circumstances where other types of leave are not applicable. The level of leave granted will vary depending on the seriousness and scale of the incident.

A manager has discretion to extend this by up to a further working week and to decide whether the extended period is to be paid or unpaid. Managers should contact the HR Support and Advice Unit for further guidance on this aspect of the policy.

What time off is an employee entitled to following a bereavement or if a relative has a serious illness? 
This can be a difficult time for employees and NHS GG&C will try to support staff through this. Typically, up to one working week paid special leave can be given in the event of the serious illness, acute need or death of a family member, dependent, close friend or colleague.

A manager has discretion to extend this by up to a further working week and to decide whether the extended period is to be paid or unpaid. Managers should contact the HR Support and Advice Unit for further guidance on this aspect of the policy.

Special Leave for ‘essential civic and public duties’ 
This includes paid time off to carry out jury service, attend court as a witness, train with volunteer forces or for members of public bodies e.g. Children's Panels (this list is for illustration and not exhaustive). Generally, up to one working week’s paid leave can be granted annually and managers can extend this by one week. 
Managers should contact the HR Support and Advice Unit for further guidance on this aspect of the policy.

If you need to request Special Leave
Contact your manager at the earliest opportunity and keep in regular contact with them throughout that period.

What information do I need to tell my manager when I request Special Leave?

We are used to dealing with confidential and sensitive information when we look after our patients’ records. Your information is just as important to us and we manage this carefully too.

When you make a request for leave, your manager will ask you some questions to help them decide what support they can offer you.

All Special leave requests are dealt with on a strictly confidential basis and no undue pressure will be exerted on staff to divulge details which might breach their personal privacy. However, sufficient information is required to allow managers to make an informed decision on the amount of leave granted.

Keeping records up to date
We need to know when you’re at work and when you have any type of time off. This is important to make sure we pay you correctly too.

All managers should ensure that SSTS is updated correctly and payroll is informed, where SSTS is not available.

The HR Support and Advice Unit can be contacted on 0141 278 2700 if you have any further questions or need advice on this policy area.