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Annual leave purchase scheme

Information on the annual leave purchase scheme


The Council is committed to protecting the health and well-being of its employees and this Scheme is intended to assist employees in balancing their home and work life. There may be instances for example where an employee:

  • is planning a special event or trip
  • would like more annual leave to meet care/other commitments.
  • needs extra leave for other personal reasons

The benefits of adopting this Scheme can result in a reduction in absence levels, improvements in levels of employee morale and motivation, whilst enabling Council employees to better meet their personal commitments. However as with any flexible working scheme, there is still an importance to maintain provision of the Council’s services therefore its application may vary according to individual service need.


The purpose of the annual leave purchase scheme is to provide employees with additional flexibility in respect of planned time off work. The additional annual leave is unpaid, the cost of which will be deducted from an employee’s salary over the annual leave year. This will ensure that the employee continues to receive a monthly salary at a reduced rate to reflect the unpaid leave.

This scheme provides the opportunity to “buy” up to 10 working days (74 hours) of additional annual leave in each leave year, with deductions in pay spread equally over 12 months. Part-time employees will be able to purchase the pro-rata equivalent.

Employment will not be broken during the unpaid leave period(s) and continuous service will be maintained. Approval of any additional annual leave purchase is not guaranteed, and will always be subject to the operational requirements of the service which must remain a priority.


This scheme applies to all Council employees whether they are full-time, part-time, temporary or permanent irrespective of length of service. It does not apply to employees who are within their probationary period or those within maintained schools or academies unless specifically adopted by the relevant body.


The maximum amount of additional annual leave that any employee may 'purchase' in any one leave year is a maximum of 10 days for full-time employees, pro-rata for part-time. An employee who wishes to purchase additional annual leave must make a request in writing to their line/service manager.

Separate requests must be made for each leave year and applications should be submitted within the ‘application window’, usually 1 January – 28 February each year. This enables the Council to make sure that all requests can be accommodated within the forthcoming leave year and that payments can be spread more widely across the year. HR will notify Managers and staff when the window is open for applications. 

Any deductions from pay for the additional leave will be made in line with the guidance on this policy - Adjustments to Pay and Recording of Additional Leave.

The Council reserves the right to refuse an employee's application to purchase additional annual leave. This must be communicated to the employee by the line manager and confirmed in writing.

The employee’s usual contractual annual leave should be applied for and taken in line with the normal annual leave procedures, detailed in the Leave Arrangements policy, available from MyView.

Where a request for additional leave is submitted, the employee will constitute the employee’s consent to any salary adjustment.

There will be no increase in the normal leave “carry forward” provisions, i.e. up to a maximum of 4 days, (pro-rata for part-time) and managers and employees must ensure proper planning and management of the taking of the additional annual leave. If, having purchased additional annual leave, the employee fails to take it before the end of the relevant leave year, the leave will be lost and no reimbursement made.

Employees who purchase additional leave will continue to pay pension contributions based upon the gross amount of pensionable pay received which means that their pension will be unaffected. Local Government Pension Scheme (Administration) Regulations 2008 apply and contributions cannot be forgone in respect of the additional annual leave.

Consideration of Requests

Managers must treat all applications fairly and consistently, taking into consideration the needs of the service before agreeing to the request and ensuring that the additional leave can be feasibly

accommodated within the employee’s leave year.

It may be necessary to refuse an employee's request for operational or technical reasons related to their job. If approval is not given, managers must give reasons and explore other options with the employee such as agreeing to a shorter period of additional annual leave.

The decision should be discussed with the employee within 21 days of receiving the request. Should a longer timescale be needed, the manager must let the employee(s) know of the revised date, this should be reasonable and not cause any undue delay. If outside of the above timescale, the request would need to be re-submitted by the employee on MyView.

Should the employee’s direct line manager not be available to authorise the request due to absence, this should be discussed with the relevant Senior Officer.

Advice should be should be sought from Human Resources where appropriate. 


Step 1 – Employee must first calculate the cost of their proposed Additional Annual Leave using the calculator available from MyView. 

Step 2 - Employee must complete the ‘Additional Annual Leave Purchase Request Form’’, available from MyView during the application window and submit it either for approval. This must be before 28 February.

Step 3 - The line manager must consider the request within 21 days of receipt and either accept it or reject it on MyView.

Step 4 – Where a request is declined, a message will be sent from MyView to the employee with a reason for rejection.  The line manager should be prepared to meet with the employee to discuss this further where necessary. 

Step 5 – Where a request is authorised, a message will be sent from MyView to the employee.   Payroll will then update the employee’s annual leave entitlement on MyView.  The deduction in pay will appear as a separate line on the employee’s payslip. 

Changes/Withdrawal from the Scheme/Exceptional Circumstances

An employee cannot ordinarily withdraw from the Scheme once their request has been authorised.  Withdrawal from the Scheme can only be agreed in exceptional circumstances, for example, due to a life-changing reason, such as a substantial change in finances, marital/partner status, pregnancy/maternity, etc.  A request for withdrawal from the Scheme must be submitted in writing to the relevant Director and Head of HR for their consideration.

Applications to the Scheme cannot normally be agreed once the window has closed, however, these may be considered as an exceptional circumstance due to a life-changing reason, such as unexpected caring responsibilities. Requests should be submitted in writing to the relevant Director and Head of HR for their consideration. Where approval is given, the employee must accept that their deductions in pay will be made over a shorter time-scale which will result in a higher monthly payment. The Additional Annual Leave Calculator will provide an indication of this figure.

In the event that an employee’s salary changes during a leave year, due to a change in pay grade, the agreed additional annual leave purchase amount will stay the same. Monthly pay deductions will stay the same and will only be recalculated as a result of the pay award.

If having purchased additional annual leave, the employee fails to take it before the end of the relevant leave year the leave will be lost, with no reimbursement.

Adjustments to Pay and Recording of Additional Annual Leave

Where an employee requests to purchase additional annual leave, a deduction will be made from the employees pay. As with normal annual leave, additional annual leave will be calculated in hours and added to the employee’s entitlement on MyView.

An employee should note that by completing and submitting the Additional Annual Leave Purchase Request Form that, if approved, submission of this form also constitutes their consent to any applicable deduction in pay.

The cost of the additional annual leave should be calculated on the basis of pay rates for the forthcoming year, from 1 April, and should therefore take account of any increment due and pay award, where known. If the pay award is given after the 1 April, Payroll will recalculate additional annual leave purchase amount and apply it to the pay deduction. 

Additional annual leave purchase will be calculated by:-

  • Calculating the cost of the additional annual leave by multiplying the number of hours by the hourly rate;
  • Dividing the additional annual leave cost by 12 to give the monthly pay deductions (or dividing it over the remaining months of the annual leave year if the agreement isn’t in place before the April pay cycle).


  1. Employee works 37 hours per week or 7.4 hours per day and wishes to purchase 10 days annual leave. Earns £16860 per year, hourly rate £8.7234:-
  • Calculate the number of hours leave you wish to purchase 10 (days) x 7.4 (hours per day) = 74 (hours)
  • Calculate the cost of the leave by multiplying the number of hours by the hourly rate i.e. 74 hours x £8.7234 = £645.53
  • Divide £645.53 by 12 to get monthly pay deductions = £53.79
  • MyView leave record credited with 74 hours

Note that pension remains payable on the usual salary amount, e.g. £16860

  1. Employee works 24 hours per week (3 days x 8 hours) and wishes to purchase 4 days leave. Earns £16830 (pro rata) per year £11371, hourly rate £8.7234:-
  • Calculate the number of hours leave you wish to purchase 4(days) x 8 (hours per day) = 32 (hours)
  • Calculate the cost of the leave by multiplying the number of hours by the hourly rate
  • 32 hours x £8.7234 = £279.15
  • Divide £279.15 by 12 to get monthly pay deductions = £23.26
  • MyView leave record credited with 32 hours

Note that pension remains payable on the usual salary amount, e.g. £11371


Employees on sick maternity leave, if pay reduces to statutory, it will be kept as a balance and recovered the following.  Subject to circumstances. 

Employees leaving the Council will be reimbursed if the salary deductions on leaving amount to more than the leave taken. If on leaving, the value of the salary deductions made during the relevant leave year are less than the value of the leave taken, the Council reserves the right (in line with contractual provision) to recover payment and will be entitled to deduct the outstanding amount from salary or other payment due to the employee. If the final salary is not sufficient to allow for the whole of such a deduction, we will seek to recover any amount which cannot be collected from their last payslip.


This scheme is effective from March 2020 until further notice and may be withdrawn or amended at any time, with one month’s notice in writing. 

If you have any queries regarding this scheme, please contact

History of Policy Changes

This policy was first agreed by members of the Torbay JCC in February 2020.

Policy to be reviewed as and when required due to operational or legislative changes.