School of History, Classics & Archaeology  
The University of Edinburgh School of History & Classics

Annual Leave & Short Term Absence: Policy & Procedure for Academic Staff *

Requests should be made by submitting an Absence Request Form..  Please read the guidance below first.

Sickness Absence leave is covered by a separate policy and procedure, see Absence Management Policy.

Leave Policies and Guidelines


The University's Annual Leave Policy sets out the University's full policy on annual leave.  This policy is effective from 1 January 2011.

The full range of University leave policies can be found on the HR website .

  • Full time staff on grades UE06-10 have an annual leave entitlement of 36 days and part time staff receive annual leave and public holidays on a pro rata basis. You can check your entitlement in your Conditions of Service.
  • The timing of annual leave is subject to the approval of your Head of Subject Area. 
  • Academic staff, particularly Directors of Studies, are expected to be available in the University in Freshers' Week.
  • It is recognised that staff may also require a short term absence at any time of the year other than for Annual Leave and that during the vacation staff may be away from the University but not on Annual Leave.
  • Vacation should not to be interpreted as any non-teaching period.  Absence during revision and examining periods may be detrimental to the work of the Subject Area and these periods should not be considered 'free research time'.
  • During periods of Annual Leave and short term absence staff are expected to make suitable arrangements for cover of duties and for the students they are supervising. 
  • Supervisors of research postgraduate students should refer to section 5.7 of the 'Code of Practice for Supervisors and Research Students'

School Procedure and Approval

The procedure applies at all times of the year and not just during semester-time. The School procedure is intended to be as undemanding as possible, consistent with ensuring that staff absences do not cause operational difficulties.

Requests for leave of absence (annual leave and short term leave) should be submitted to the Head of Subject well in advance of departure and the period of notice should be, at the very least, as long as the period of leave requested if possible.

Requests should be made by submitting an Absence Request Form.

The Head of Subject must approve requests for leave of up to 7 days and pre-approve requests for leave of up to one month.

The Head of School must approve requests for leave of up to one month during semester time (in liaison with Head of Subject).

Heads of Subject must get approval of their leave from the Head of School.

Once approved, only relevant details of an individual's leave will be passed on, and only to those colleagues in the Subject Area or School whose duties make it necessary for them to be informed. (This will depend on the time of year, but might typically include Head of Section, course secretary, School PG admin, exams officer.)

 * Sick leave, unpaid Leave of Absence, paid Sabbatical Leave and other types of leave (family/maternity/paternity) are not covered by this policy and procedure.  Please see Corporate HR Leave Policies.