Paid leave of absence may be allowed for events taking place during normal working hours, i.e. pre-course interviews, course attendance; study for examinations; examinations; attendance at related graduation and award presentation ceremonies. If attendance requires additional time to the normal standard day e.g. for travelling purposes, the actual time taken may be claimed up to the maximum working day i.e. 12 hours.
However, if an employee is required to attend meetings/conferences/seminars that require early starts and/or late finishes which may exceed the 12 hours working day, they may claim in excess of 12 hours providing that this has been agreed with the line manager prior to accumulating the time. For travelling purposes, the normal rules regarding claiming time for the shorter journey between venue to office base or venue to home apply.
If the course begins part way through the working day and continues into the evening, or takes place exclusively in the evening, depending on the requirements of the department, it may be agreed between the manager and the employee for the employee to:
- work the morning & claim TOIL for the extra hours;
- not work the morning, attend the course only and claim a standard working day of 7.24 hours (7.40 decimal hours)
Where paid leave is allowed, attendance at an event is treated as attendance on duty. This also applies to part-time employees and those on shift work that attend learning events outside their normal working hours who will be given the equivalent time off in lieu.
Absence because of sickness must be reported and if necessary certified. Unauthorised absence from an event will be treated as unauthorised absence from duty.
There is no automatic allowance in terms of pay or time off for attendance at courses or other learning events taking place over a weekend unless the person’s normal working week includes a Saturday or Sunday. Exceptions to this will be decided by discussion between the Line Manager and the appropriate Head of Service.
When studying any prescribed time away from work for study, portfolio building etc. demanded by awarding bodies as an essential element of courses will be allowed subject to written proof of the requirements being supplied to the employee’s line manager.
Any negotiable time away from work for study, portfolio building etc., will be met on a 50/50 basis i.e. 50% the employee’s time and 50% the council’s time. This will also be subject to written proof of the requirements being supplied to the employee’s line manager.
For traditional college based courses a maximum of 3 normal working days per qualification per academic year will be granted at the discretion of the department for pre-exam study.
Distance learning that includes residential elements taking place on working days will be granted up to a maximum of 3 normal working days per academic year at the discretion of the department.
Work based NVQs with no prescribed time away from work for study and portfolio building will be entitled to the following:
- National Vocational Qualifications Levels 4 & 5 - 2 days
- National Vocational Qualifications Levels 1, 2 & 3 - 1 day
This time will be in addition to any time required to attend events addressing related training needs and assessment time.
No leave entitlement will be granted to attend examination re-sits.
Time off for Welsh Lessons
The council supports and encourages employees to learn Welsh and as a result will grant time off to attend Welsh lessons during the working day. Where Welsh language is a requirement of the role and the employee is unable to attend Welsh classes during the working day the council will provide funding for the employee to attend evening classes to learn Welsh.
Employees will not be reimbursed for the time taken to attend Welsh classes in the evening.
Managers have a responsibility to monitor the progress or improvement of employees attending Welsh classes where Welsh language is essential to the role.