Text of email sent to branch members by branch secretary Tim Goodall on 21 August 2020
Management at the University of Leeds continue to be unnecessarily harsh about annual leave – saying that the normal carry forward arrangements can only happen in ‘exceptional circumstances’ this year (up to 5 days is usual custom and practice). We believe this is contrary to law – the government’s Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 state that unused leave can be carried into the next 2 leave years where the impact of coronavirus means that it has not been reasonably practicable to take it in the leave year “as a result of the effects of coronavirus (including on the worker, the employer or the wider economy or society)”.
The recent announcement that staff who are obliged to quarantine after holidays abroad and can’t work from home are liable to have to use holiday from next year or unpaid leave (see https://coronavirus.leeds.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/108/2020/07/Travel-overseas-for-personal-or-recreational-reasons-all-staff-email-sent-30-July-2020.docx) is also unfair and unacceptable.
We know that many of you are understandably angry about these edicts, particularly when they add to the stress of work and personal situations which are already difficult. We cannot understand why our management fails to be more supportive to staff on these matters, when it wouldn’t even cost them anything. The three campus trade unions have submitted a collective grievance on these issues and we will keep you posted about the response. See text of the collective grievance here.
We believe that the University has made a material change to our conditions and thus we are currently seeking legal advice on how to progress this further.
Get in touch with email@example.com if you feel you are being unreasonably refused carry over of leave, or if you are told you must take unpaid leave to cover quarantining. In the meantime, if you feel able, please keep the pressure up on your managers and local HR. Keep requesting to carry over leave and make sure they understand the pressures their decisions put on your home life.