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Annual leave – interim arrangements in response to the Coronavirus pandemic

Date: 28 May 2020

It is really important, and especially so during this period of significant pressure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, that you take your annual leave. Periods of annual leave will give you a break from work and hopefully allow you to rest and recuperate in order to maintain your own physical and mental wellbeing. 

Data gathered from our EASY system shows that during April, considerably less annual leave than usual was taken compared with previous years. 

We are encouraging colleagues to take, as much as possible, at least one week of annual leave every three months to ensure that everyone is able to have regular time away from work.  However, there may be cases where this is not possible, due to the need to maintain our life saving services and response to COVID-19, whilst managing the impact of the pandemic. 

A series of options have and been put in place, to help balance operational requirements with your own health and well-being and to help you manage your annual leave: 

  • Carry-over of annual leave to next year. The usual restriction to 1 week carry-over of annual leave into the 2021/22 leave year will be been uplifted to 2 weeks. 
  • Buy annual leave. The usual NHSBT buy annual leave scheme, which was suspended earlier this year will be open during June 2020. This will give you the opportunity to apply to buy up to 1 week of additional annual leave for the 2020/21 leave year. 
  • Sell annual leave. We are introducing a scheme to request to sell up to 1 week of annual leave. This will have 2 windows, the first will be open during June 2020 and the second in January 2021. Requests will be subject to approval of your manager, budget holder and final NHSBT review before confirmation of whether any request can be fulfilled in full, or in part. 

Further information will be available on People First from the beginning of June.

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