Here you’ll find answers to some of the common questions asked about buy and bank leave.
Visit the Buy & Bank article for more information on this subject.
Qualifying for the scheme
You should refer to the Buy and Bank Leave scheme guidance to ensure that you meet the qualifying criteria, e.g. you have a minimum of one year’s service. If you are still unsure you should check with the Employee Service Centre.
You can apply for unpaid leave – conditions remain the same.
Term Time employees can only buy leave.
No, there is only one application period per year. Please note that late application will not be accepted due to time constraints.
The number of hours that can be bought will be equivalent to one working week for the employee i.e. if you work 20 hours, you can buy upto 20 hours whereas a 17.5 hours per week worker can buy 17.5 hours.
No, in order to apply for the scheme you must have been employed for a complete annual leave year (the annual leave year being 1st January to 31st December)
Yes, but an employee with less than 5 years service may only ban k a maximum of four days annual leave. An employee must have a minimum of 196 hours, pro rata for part time employees (5.6 weeks) leave each year, which is a combination of annual leave and public holidays. Applications to bank leave will not be approved where the effect would be to reduce the amount of leave for that year below 196 hours, pro rata for part time employees.
No, the maximum number of hours that can be bought and/or banked by any employee is the their contractual hours (one working week) in each category.
Yes, providing you meet the qualifying criteria.
In order to apply to buy and/or bank leave you should log into your myself account. It is the employee’s responsibility to submit a request via myself to their line manager for authorisation. The level of authorisation will be determined within each Service. Incomplete and late applications will not be accepted. The employee should allow sufficient time for approval by their line manager on or before 12th December for verification and attendance.
A video on how to apply via myself is available here.
Line managers will advise employees if they intend to approve, or not approve, an application. If the line manager decides not to approve then they must give a reason for rejection. If approved by the line manager, a final check will take place, after which an approval or non approval email will be issued.
Line managers are only able to approve claims whilst the payroll is open. Details of when payroll are open is available here.
Rejected applications should be discussed with the line manager in the first instance. If you remain unsatisfied with this decision, you will have the right to raise this issue through North Lanarkshire Council’s Grievance Policy.
No. However, bought leave will be the first leave used in the new leave year. Banked leave will be added to the employee’s annual leave card and manages as appropriate by each line manager.
The total cost of your leave is calculated as follows:
Your hourly rate of pay x (no of hours bought)
E.g. £6.9989 x 35 hours = £244.96 gross
Currently, your hourly rate of pay is shown at the top right corner of your payslip.
Your first payment will be deducted from the first available pay in the leave year and will be deducted equally from the number of pays you receive over the calendar year i.e. until December.
Contributions will continue to be deducted as normal from your pay as long as there are sufficient funds available and this would not cause your gross salary to fall below the National Minimum Wage or minimum contributions of £1 National Insurance being made.
If there are insufficient funds to make the deduction, then any outstanding deductions will be made at the end of the normal period, e.g. if three payments are suspended then this will extend the payment period by 3 months.
If an employee is experiencing financial hardship, then they should consult with their line manager in respect of continuation of the scheme.
Pension contributions will continue to be calculated on the full time equivalent salary.
As deductions for bought leave are taken from your gross salary before Tax and NI contributions are made, this may result in you paying slightly less Tax and NI than usual. There will certainly be no increase in contributions.
The amount of gross salary remaining after deductions of payments, either for Child Care vouchers and/or bought leave, must not leave you with a salary which falls below the equivalent of the National Minimum Wage or minimum contributions of £1 National Insurance being made.
The cost will be based on the average number of hours per day in your working pattern.
E.g. If you work 35 Hours per week over 4 days at a different number of hours per day, bought leave will be calculated as 8.75 hours per day i.e. 35 hours divided by 4 days.
Once you have opted into the scheme, you cannot opt out under normal circumstances. However, in exceptional circumstances, i.e. hardship/financial difficulties, employees should contact their line manager to discuss their continued membership of the scheme.
A discussion should take place between the employee and the new line manager in relation to continuation in the scheme. If the new service is unable to accommodate your existing arrangements, please see below which will apply.
If there is an outstanding balance owed to the Council, you will be liable to repay this and it will be recovered from your final salary.
Alternatively, if you are owed monies as a result of resignation, this will be reimbursed to you.
The amount calculated will take account of any unused annual leave in that leave year.
You buy 35 hours and move to work job share 17.5 hours, you will continue to pay the agreed contributions calculated at the beginning of the leave year.
If you have taken the 35 hours leave whilst working full time there are no implications.
However, if you have not used any leave, then you will be entitled to the same number of hours that you purchased at the beginning of the leave year, i.e. 35 hours or 5 full days.
You work job share, 17.5 hours per week and buy 17.5 hours at the beginning of the year and move to work full time, 35 hours per week.
You will continue to pay the agreed contribution calculated at the beginning of the leave year.
If you have taken the 17.5 hours leave whilst working job share there are no implications.
However, if you have not used any leave, then you will only be entitled to the same number of hours that you purchased at the beginning of the leave year, i.e. 17.5 hours
NB Any proportion of unused leave in these circumstances will be calculated as a number of hours.
If you are promoted and your hourly rate increases, you will continue to pay the contributions as agreed at the start of the leave year.
If an employee has a change in circumstances during the leave year e.g. moves to another Service, leaves the Council, changes their working hours etc. then, from an administrative viewpoint it is easier to calculate charges/reimbursement if the bought leave is deemed to be used first.
No. The present arrangements for annual leave state that an employee may, with the approval of their manager, carry annual leave forward to the end of January in the following leave year. The Buy and Bank Scheme does not alter this arrangement. For the year 2021, it has been agreed that carried over leave can be used up to the 31st March 2020.
All applications are required to be approved by a line manager. It is the individual’s responsibility to discuss this issue with the appropriate line manager. Employees should be aware that any approval of an application does not entitle them to take specific dates of leave and that any leave they subsequently request is subject to the normal authorisation process.
Yes. You can submit an application form for both posts and the normal criteria will apply in each case.
If it is likely that the compensation claim is settled in your favour before the end of the application period then an application can be made. However, if the claim is settled later than this, then the buy and bank leave documentation will already have been passed to payroll for processing therefore your application would be rejected.
Applications should be submitted via mySelf for authorisation by your manager.
The application period commences on 1st November and all applications should be authorised or rejected by your manager via myTeam, by 31st December 2020.
Contact the People Helpdesk on 01698 403151 or alternatively email them at ESC-HelpDeskTeam@northlan.gov.uk.
Neither you or your manager have the required system access to make this amendment. However, your manager can call the People Helpdesk on 01698 403151 or alternatively email them at ESC-HelpDeskTeam@northlan.gov.uk requesting that the amendent is made.
The Buy and Bank Leave Scheme FAQs state that an employee with less than 5 years’ service may only bank a maximum of four days annual leave. An employee must have a minimum of 28 days (5.6 weeks) leave each year, which is a combination of annual leave and public holidays. Applications to bank leave will not be approved where the effect would be to reduce the amount of leave for that year below 28 days.
However, if you bought additional annual leave the previous year for use this year, banking 5 days from this year’s entitlement will not reduce the amount of leave for that year below 28 days and you can therefore request to bank 5 days.