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Special leave

What it is

Special leave is granted in certain circumstances, subject to the work requirements of the civil service. In certain other circumstances, the head of department or office can grant special leave without pay at their discretion.

You should note that unpaid leave does not count towards pension calculations. The approvals process varies according to the type of special leave you want to take.

You need to seek approval by your manager for: ante-natal and post-natal classes, bereavement leave, interview leave, jury service/witness in court leave, leave in lieu, marriage/civil partnership leave, union business leave, or special paid leave.

You need to obtain approval for leave from the local HR team when you want to: accompany a spouse abroad; take leave due to domestic or family reasons or because of force majeure; to take part in a charitable organisation, Civil Defence, or the Reserve Defence Forces; to work with the EU or an international organization; to take special leave for sporting purposes; or to take paid leave as a living kidney donor.

Please read this page, which explains the process for each type of leave in turn.

How to apply

To submit an application, you can log into HR self-service. To attach supporting documents, to view progress on an existing case, or to submit a manual application form, you can log into the case management system. Please note: only officers without HR self-service access may submit manual forms.

  • Apply online using HR self-service
  • Enter your self-service user ID and password
  • Select ‘Non-Annual Leave’ and then select the type of leave you want from the drop-down menu (e.g. shorter working year, study leave, etc)
  • Fill out the online form and submit it to your manager for approval
  • If the head of the division approves the application, your manager will submit it to the NSSO. You will then receive a confirmation email confirming your case number.

You are responsible for ensuring that all forms you submit are completed in full. The NSSO may not process incomplete forms.

By applying for any form of special leave (under circular 14/2009), you agree to repay any overpayment of salary, which might result from you taking part in this scheme.