Leave Policy


Introduction to the Policy

Forward Digital is committed to enabling employees to take leave to achieve work-life balance and to undertake public duties.

Employees should also refer to the Carers Policy and Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Policy. This policy does not form part of your contract of employment and Forward Digital reserves the right to amend at any time.

1. Annual Leave

1.1 Annual Leave Entitlement

The annual leave year runs from 1st January to 31st December.

Your annual leave entitlement is as detailed in your terms and conditions of employment.

In your first and last year of employment your annual leave entitlement will be calculated based on number of months worked.

If you are part-time your annual leave entitlement will be pro - rated to take into account, the number of days worked.

1.2 Public Holidays

Your annual leave entitlement will be inclusive of public holidays unless stated otherwise.

The nature of Forward Digital's work means you may be required to work on public holidays without any additional pay or time off in lieu.

We currently only close on 3 public holidays each year:

  • New Year's Day (or equivalent)

  • Christmas Day (or equivalent)

  • Boxing Day (or equivalent).

Employees are required to retain 3 days from their annual leave entitlement to cover these days.

We reserve the right to nominate other days on which the organisation will close. These will be notified at the earliest opportunity and employees will be required to retain additional days to cover these as required.

1.3 Annual Leave Request Procedure

Employees are required to give the following notice to request annual leave:

  • One month for requests of more than one week

  • One week for requests of less than one week

  • As much notice as possible for requests for one day.

Where an employee is based on a client site, they should liaise with their client manager prior to making any formal annual leave request to ensure leave will have minimal impact on client projects and delivery. The final decision on annual leave rests with Forward Digital.

Employees should not book holidays until they have received confirmation that their request has been approved. We take no responsibility for losses incurred where employees fail to follow this requirement.

In certain exceptional circumstances we may ask you to delay or rearrange your approved holidays for operational reasons. In such circumstances, employees may be compensated for any losses.

2. Flexible Holiday Policy

Each holiday year all permanent employees covered by this policy can apply to increase their holiday entitlement by a maximum of 10 days or decrease up to a maximum of 5 days (in accordance with the Working Time Regulations 1998) each year.

2.1 Eligibility

Employees must have 6 months service prior to the beginning of the quarter in which they are making their request to buy or sell holiday.

2.2 Making Requests

Requests to buy or sell holidays should be made as follows:

  • By 30th November for Q1 and subsequent months

  • By 28th February for Q2 and subsequent months

  • By 31st May for Q3 and subsequent months

  • By 31st August for Q4.

To ensure employees can use the holiday they have purchased within the holiday year, the maximum number of days you can request to buy will reduce as follows:

  • In Q1 – maximum 10 days

  • In Q2 – maximum of 7.5 days

  • In Q3 – maximum of 5 days

  • In Q4 – maximum of 2.5 days

You can make up to 2 requests per holiday year. Each request should be to purchase or sell a minimum of 2 days. In you choose to make 2 requests the second request cannot exceed the maximum for the quarter even if this equates to less than the maximum 10 days in total.

Requests should be made in writing to your manager using the holiday adjustment form, which can be found in the XYZ Team folder on SharePoint.

Requests will be reviewed by your manager and approval will be subject to business operational requirements.

We reserve the right to refuse your request to buy or sell holidays if we do not believe it is in the best interests of the employee or should there be a business case which restricts the request.

Agreement or refusal of the request will be made in writing to you within 10 days of your request along with details of your revised monthly salary.

2.3 Carry Forward

You can carry forward up to 5 days accrued untaken holiday entitlement from one Holiday Year to the next Holiday Year subject to the agreement of your line manager. You cannot carry forward more than 5 days of untaken holiday entitlement unless agreed with your line manager or a period of maternity, paternity, adoption, or sick leave has prevented you from taking leave in the relevant year.

Any holiday purchased will not be able to be carried forward to the following leave year, nor will they be paid in lieu following the principle of use it or lose it. If you have purchased holiday you cannot make a request to sell it back in Q4. You should therefore think very carefully before making any request to purchase holiday.

2.4 Calculating Holiday Value

To calculate the holiday value for full time employees we will take your gross annual salary as of 1st January and divide by 260 days.

For part-time employees you would use your pro rata salary rather than your Full-time equivalent salary.

The cost of annual leave will be 1/260th of your basic salary (or pro rate salary if part time) for each day you wish to buy or sell, and we will calculate the adjustment to your salary for the remainder of the year on this

basis with the adjustment required being made to your salary in the month following any adjustments to your holidays and spread evenly over the remainder of the calendar year.

2.5 Tax and National Insurance (NI) Implications

Payments for decreasing holidays are subject to tax and NI deductions.

Your contractual salary will be reduced if you choose to increase your holidays. You will enter into a salary sacrifice agreement to cover the cost of the holiday, saving you tax and NI deductions.

2.6 Pension, Critical Illness and Life Insurance Implications

We will not make any adjustments to your pension contributions that reflect either a salary increase or decrease as a result of buying / selling holidays. We will also calculate your entitlement to maternity / paternity / adoption or Shared Parental Pay on your unadjusted basic salary.

This policy may have implications on your critical illness cover (currently Canada Life), as any claim will be calculated based on your salary.

This policy may have implications on your life insurance policy (currently Canada Life), as any claim will be calculated based on your salary.

2.7 Other Considerations

An adjustment will be made on your final pay depending on the number of holidays you have taken above or below your entitlement. Any flexible holiday you have opted for will be included in this calculation. You should also note that in electing to buy or sell holidays this will adjust your income and this can have an impact on other matters such as your ability to borrow and receive certain government benefits.

2.8 Leavers

Any change to holiday entitlement will be added to or taken from your regular holiday entitlement. If you leave the company before the end of the holiday year, your entitlement will be recalculated based on your leaving date.

3. Sabbatical

Sabbaticals are period of leave to enable you to undertake a longer break from work, normally to undertake a project or period of study.

Subject to operational requirements you may request to take a sabbatical. Sabbaticals can be between 1 and 3 months in duration and will be unpaid. Your terms and conditions of employment may be impacted with the exception of annual leave and service which will continue to accrue during your sabbatical. You should consider using annual leave for part of your sabbatical as normal carry over rules will apply.

You should put your application for a sabbatical in writing to your line manager no less than 3 months prior to your requested sabbatical start date. You need to include the start and end date and total duration of your requested sabbatical. You should not make any arrangements until we have responded to your application.

We will consider your application against business operational requirements and will respond to your request within 28 days. In certain circumstance rather than decline your request we may ask you to defer your sabbatical and move it to alternative dates.

4. Leave to Undertake Public Duties

There are a number of reasons where you may need time off work to undertake public duties. We are supportive of employees supporting the wider community through public duties and will endeavour to support wherever possible.

4.1 Jury Service

If you receive a summons for Jury Service, you must inform your manager immediately. In certain circumstances it may be difficult to release you for operational reasons. In these circumstances we will ask you to submit a request to defer your jury service and will provide a written statement to support your deferral application.

If a deferral is sought, you should advise us immediately once you receive notification of whether your deferral request has been accepted or not.

Whilst on Jury service you will be retained on full pay and there will be no change to your terms and conditions of employment.

4.2 Public Duties

Public duties could include serving as a magistrate or a Trade Union steward or representative. You can take reasonable time off to undertake public duties.

You should make us aware as soon as possible if you hold a public office that may require time off to undertake your duties. If you are considering applying to become a public representative and / or to take on a public role you should make us aware prior to making your application. You should include details of the likely commitment required.

Whilst we will support you wherever possible in some circumstances, we may ask you to delay an application or advise you that we will not be able to support your application due to business operations.

If due to operational circumstances we are unable to support a long-term request for regular time off we may need to consider your position or terms and conditions of employment.

Any time off for public duties will be treated as unpaid leave and your monthly salary and benefits will be adjusted accordingly.

4.3 Territorial Army (TA) / Reserve Forces

You should advise us as soon as possible if you are a member of the TA or reserve forces. If you are called up to go on a tour of duty you must give us as much notice as possible. Depending on the duration of your tour of duty in most cases your employment will be suspended as if you were on an unpaid sabbatical. This may impact on your terms and conditions of employment including salary and benefits. You will continue to accrue annual leave and service during your tour of duty.

You will also be eligible for time off to attend compulsory training provided you give us as much notice of possible. The time off will either be unpaid, or you can use your annual leave.

Name and Title: Harry Bendix-Lewis - Director.