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Buy & Bank Leave FAQ

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

How will I know if I qualify 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.

Can I apply to buy or bank leave if I'm a teacher?

No.

Can I apply to bank leave if I'm a term time employee?

No.

Term Time employees can only buy leave.

Will my application be accepted if it does not meet the 12th December deadline?

No, there is only one application period per year. Please note that late application will not be accepted due to time constraints.

How many days hours can I purchase if I work part time e.g. 17.5 hours, 20 hours?

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.

If I start mid year, can I apply for the scheme?

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)

Can I bank annual leave if I have less than 5 years service?

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.

Can I buy more than my contractual hours in leave?

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.

Can I buy/bank leave every year?

Yes, providing you meet the qualifying criteria.

How do I apply to buy and/or bank leave?

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.

How will I know if my application is approved?

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.

My manager has not been able to approve my claim?

Line managers are only able to approve claims whilst the payroll is open. Details of when payroll are open is available here.

Will I have the right of appeal if my application is rejected?

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.

Do I need to identify at the time of my application the dates I intend to use for bought and/or banked leave?

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.

How do I calculate how much my bought leave will cost me?

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.

When will my first payment be deducted and over how long?

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.

What if I go into a half pay situation or go on maternity leave?

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.

How will this affect my pension contributions?

Pension contributions will continue to be calculated on the full time equivalent salary.

How will this affect my Tax and NI contributions?

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.

I am currently receiving Child Care vouchers, but I wish to purchase bought additional leave, how will this affect the minimum wage criteria?

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.

I am part of the flexible working smarter working scheme and do not work the same number of hours per day. How do I calculate what bought leave will cost me?

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.

What if I change my mind after requesting to buy leave?

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.

What happens if I move to another position within the Service/Council?

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.

What if I resign from the Council?

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.

What if my hours of work alter e.g. move to a job share post?

Example 1
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.

Example 2
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.

What happens if I am promoted?

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.

Why do I have to use my bought leave first?

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.

Will my right to carry over outstanding annual leave until 31st January in the next leave year be affected by the scheme?

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.

What if numerous staff within my team apply for the same period?

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.

If I hold two different positions within the Service, can I still make use of the scheme?

Yes. You can submit an application form for both posts and the normal criteria will apply in each case.

I was involved in a car accident whilst at work and am currently pursuing compensation where I will pay back SSP to the Council. As a result of this, the absences relation to the accident will be removed from my record. Can I apply for Buy and Bank Leave scheme?

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.

When can I apply to buy and/or bank leave?

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.

I have banked annual leave, but it does not appear to have been added to my annual leave?

Contact the People Helpdesk on 01698 403151 or alternatively email them at ESC-HelpDeskTeam@northlan.gov.uk.

I have submitted an application to Buy and/or Bank leave and it has been approved by my manager, can I amend this?

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.

I have less than 5 years service, can I bank 5 days annual leave from this years entitlement?

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.

Updated on 4th November 2021

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