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YOU ARE HERE: Skip Navigation LinksEdinburgh Napier Staff Intranet > Service Depts > Human Resources > Pay and Benefits > Leave > Leave in Special Circumstances

​Leave in Special Circumstances​​​

The University recognises that there are a range of circumstances when you may need to take time away from work, but that it may not be reasonably expected for you to use annual leave or flexi-leave to accommodate this.

There are a number of special leave types, with or without pay, which may be approved following a request. All requests should be discussed, wherever possible in advance with the manager, before submitting a request online through HR Connect. To submit a request: log in to HR Connect​. On the homepage to to the 'other absence' card and click on 'add other absence'. Input the other absence details and save. Once saved, the request will be sent to the manager for approval.

Jury Duty should still be requested on a Special Leave Request Form​ ​​​which should be authorised by the line manager and sent onto Payroll.

Please note that MCL Medics​ can provide advice and support, if required.

There are a number of reasons for which leave in special circumstances may be considered and the following guidance provides a framework for making and considering these requests for time off.


Compassionate Leave

Compassionate leave is discretionary and will normally be for anything from a few hours paid time off for attendance at a funeral to up to five days paid leave. Leave may be granted for a longer period but additional leave will normally be unpaid.

Leave may be granted for cases of serious illness of a close relative or if a close relative passes away. A close relative is defined as a spouse or partner, child, stepchild, grandchild, parent, step parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, brother or sister, stepbrother or stepsister or brother or sister-in-law.


When considering a request the manager will take into account personal circumstances including the nature of the relationship; the extent to which other family members are available for support; the staff member’s responsibilities; and how far away the family members lives/lived.


Paid leave may also be granted to attend the funeral of a distant relative, or a person with whom there has been a close personal relationship, this will normally only be time off during the working day to attend the funeral (if held locally). However, consideration will be given to the time of day and distance required to travel, but it is expected that no more than one day will be paid.   

The University has produced a guidance document for managers on how to support a team member who has suffered a bereavement. This document, which can be found here​, provides information and links where staff can get more support.

Parental Bereavement Leave

Parents and adults with parental responsibility who have suffered the loss of a child after 24 weeks of pregnancy and before 18 years of age will be entitled to a statutory 2 weeks paid leave.  This is a day one right.  The University will enhance the statutory rate to full pay for the 2 week leave period.

The two weeks’ leave can be taken in either one block of two weeks or in two separate blocks of one week each.  It must be taken within 56 weeks of the date of the child’s death.  If an employee loses more than one child, they are eligible for the leave for each child.

The University has produced a guidance document for managers on how to support a team member who has suffered a bereavement.  This document, which can be found here​, provides information and links where staff can get more support.

Jury Duty or Court Witness

Leave will always be granted to colleagues that are required to attend court for jury duty or as a witness, following a court citation letter. Colleagues will continue to receive their salary in the normal way, during any period that they are required to attend court. We ask that you report the period you are away from work and claim for the loss of earnings direct from the courts when you return to work.

When you are reimbursed for the earnings direct from the court, you must advise the payroll team of this payment. This will then be deducted from your next salary, so that you are not paid twice for the same period. Failure to report this payment could be deemed as a conduct matter.


Please follow the below steps if you are required to attend court for jury duty or as a witness.

Step 1) ONLY required if you attend court for Jury Duty or as a witness.

Once you have returned to work from jury duty, please complete a Special Leave Request Form with the dates and times you have been absent from work. Forward this on to your line manager for approval, once this is approved, they can forward this on to the payroll team to action: payroll@napier.ac.uk  (Then refer to step 2).


If you do not attend court for Jury duty service, then no further action is required.

Step 2)

Once the payroll team receive your approved special leave form advising of your jury duty, they will then complete a loss of earnings form and send this to you along with a letter confirming Napier as your employer. Please then make a claim to the court for loss of earnings submitting the completed form and letter via the courts online portal: Claim expenses for attending court or a tribunal (scotcourts.gov.uk)​

Step 3)

When the court reimburses you direct into your personal account you must inform payroll@napier.ac.uk​  of the total value you have been paid in respect of the earnings, so that this value, less the travel expenses can be deducted from  your salary. So that the university claim back this money and you are not paid twice for the same period.

Please note that by not informing Payroll of monies received from the court, this could be deemed to be a conduct matter.


If you are discharged from jury service or from being a witness, you are expected to return to work for the rest of the day. If staff are not planning to return to work, advance approval is required from their manager.​


Reserve and Cadet Forces

Staff who have declared membership of a reserve force to the University can request two weeks' additional paid leave for attendance at annual camp or training. Any additional requests will be considered and would be granted as unpaid leave subject to approval. Staff who are called up on active service should contact humanresources@napier.ac.uk for advice concerning pay, pension and leave arrangements.

Further information regarding the reserve forces is available at Ministry of Defence Website

Trade Union Duties

Trade Union officials will be granted a reasonable amount of paid time off work to allow them to perform their duties. Time off will also be granted to Trade Union Learning Representatives to help them promote workplace learning.  All reasonable paid time off will be agreed in advance with the recognised Trade Unions in line with the RPA.


Public and Statutory Duties

Any member of staff who wishes to stand for election for public or statutory duties must inform the Director of People & Services in writing, copying in their manager.

Leave to attend elections may be granted for up to five days for local government elections and up to three weeks for parliamentary elections at the discretion of the Director of People & Services.

In addition, members of staff are entitled to reasonable unpaid leave to perform public duties if they are a member of a recognised public or statutory body. This should be discussed between the member of staff and the manager and will be based on how long the duties might take; the amount of time that has already been granted; how the time off will affect the business. Please note that time off can be refused if it is considered to be unreasonable; alternatively should the external position be linked to the staff members role and deemed to be of benefit to the University, paid time may be agreed to perform these public duties.

More information regarding this is available on the Government web site that can be accessed here.

Study Leave


Study leave or time off may be available for staff members undertaking job-related academic or professional studies. This leave can be granted to staff sitting examinations associated with an agreed (with the line manager / department) programme of study. The amount of study and examination leave will be at the discretion of the Head of School or Director of Service but should not normally exceed five days in any one year. 

Fertility Treatment Leave

We recognise the physical and emotional stresses of undergoing fertility treatment and wish to support staff going through this process. We will provide the following time off for all staff who may be direct recipients of fertility treatment, and their partners:

  • Employees receiving treatment – up to 5 days’ paid leave within a 12 month period to cover necessary treatment during a fertility treatment cycle
  • Partners – up to 3 days’ paid leave within a 12 month period to cover necessary treatment and to provide support during a fertility treatment cycle

The paid leave will be pro-rata for part time staff. The 12 month period begins from the first day that the fertility treatment leave is taken. Any unused amount cannot be carried forward to the next 12 months. Time off can be requested as a single block, full days or half days. 

Investigations regarding infertility and consultations exploring treatment options should be regarded as medical appointments and entitlement to time off to attend such appointments is covered by the University’s Attendance Management Policy. 

Staff should give their manager as much notice as possible and may be asked to provide a letter from their doctor/hospital confirming the treatment.