Annual Leave Policy


Employees are entitled to the annual leave set out in their Contract of Employment and are required to take their leave during the relevant leave year to help ensure an effective work-life balance. However, annual leave arrangements are subject to prior approval by Managers, who must take into account the operational needs of the Council.


The purpose of the Procedure is to ensure annual leave is managed fairly and consistently across the Council, with due regard to the operational needs of each service area, and to inform employees of the procedure for applying for and approving annual leave.

Annual Leave Guidelines

  • The Council’s leave year runs from 1st April to 31st March.
  • The following notice would normally be required for annual leave:

1 – 3 days leave requires 5 days notice

3 – 10 days leave requires 3 weeks notice

weekends require 3 weeks notice

Note:  But left to the line Manager’s discretion.

  • Requests for annual leave should be made no more than 12 months in advance of the planned leave.
  • The maximum single period of leave, under normal circumstances, will be two weeks. Requests for longer periods of leave will require the approval of the Town Clerk.
  • All leave should be taken within the relevant leave year. If exceptional circumstances apply, approval of the Town Clerk must be obtained.
  • Subject to the above, and the provisions of the Council’s Sick Pay Scheme, any untaken leave will be lost and employees will not be entitled to pay in lieu of untaken holidays.
  • Annual leave should be planned over the year and not ‘saved’ until the end of the financial year.
  • In some years, employees will be required to retain annual leave for use during any period of Council close down e.g. Christmas and New Year period. Employees will be notified of this as soon as practicable, and by no later than October of that year.
  • Every effort will be made to accommodate requests for annual leave. However, during peak operating periods or when planned major events are taking place, approval of leave requests will be at the Manager’s discretion.
  • Where multiple requests are received in the same operational area for leave during the same period – e.g. factory summer break – it may not be possible to approve all requests. In such circumstances, approval will be granted on the basis of the date the request is received. In subsequent years where the same employees request the same period, a rota arrangement will be applied.
  • The operational needs of the service must be given priority over any annual leave requests.
  • Any leave taken without the prior approval of the Manager will be classed as unauthorised absence and may result in pay being witheld.
  • Employees must advise their Manager of any changes. This includes changes to dates of holiday plans in advance of such changes. This includes changes to dates of holidays which will require further management approval and cancellation of a planned holiday which may require further management approval and cancellation of a planned holiday which may require consequent changes to holiday relief cover arrangements.

Procedure for Obtaining Approval of Annual Leave

The employee’s Manager must approve all annual leave in advance. Members of staff wishing to take annual leave should follow the procedure set out below:

  • All requests for annual leave should be made to your manager, at the earliest reasonable opportunity.
  • The Manager will consider the request, having regard to the needs of the service and leave already in place before a final decision is final.
  • Only after confirmation has been received from the Manager, should the member of staff commit him or herself to any leave plans, particularly where a deposit has to be applied.
  • When approval has been granted, the annual leave will be added to the staff wall planner by the Manager.
  • If leave is refused, the Manager will notify the member of staff within 3 working days.

If an employee wishes to make a complaint regarding the application of the procedure, they should do so according to the provisions of the Council’s Grievance Procedure.

For the purposes of this policy, in all matters relating to the leave of the Town Clerk, the Chairman of the Council will perform the functions of the ‘Manager’.