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Luton Borough Council

Holidays and other time off

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This page will help you to understand your holiday allowance, how to book time off for holidays and more.

'More' includes:

  • compassionate and bereavement leave
  • other time off, such as:
    • time off for jury service, election duties or public duties
    • taking a career break
    • temporarily changing your hours

Downloads on this page


Understand your holiday allowance, how to book time off for holidays and more.

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If you have access to iTrent self serve, then the easiest way to see how much leave you have is to check your holiday balance on iTrent when you're next logged on.

Full time employees

The entitlement for full time employees is shown below. This does not include bank holidays.

Up to SCP 8 (top of L3

  • Up to 5 years continuous service: 24 days per annum (177.6 hours)
  • After 5 years continuous service*: 29 days per annum (214.6 hours)

SCP 9 (base of L4) to SCP 28 (base of M1) inclusive

  • Up to 5 years continuous service: 25 days per annum (185 hours)
  • After 5 years continuous service*: 30 days per annum (222 hours)

SCP 29 (2nd point of M1) to SCP 57 (top of M8) inclusive

  • Up to 5 years continuous service: 26 days per annum (192.4 hours)
  • After 5 years continuous service*: 31 days per annum (229.4 hours)

Service directors and corporate directors

  • Up to 5 years continuous service: 33 days per annum (244.2 hours)
  • After 5 years continuous service*: 38 days per annum (281.2 hours)

*An employee is entitled to additional annual leave upon reaching the fifth anniversary of their appointment. This leave is awarded pro rata for the remaining amount of time left in the leave year.

Part time and term time employees

Part time employees can use the annual leave calculator to work out their entitlement.

Full time equivalent annual leave entitlement for example:

25 days
x 7.4 (hours in a normal working day)
/ 37 (hours in a normal working week)
x actual hours worked per week
= annual leave entitlement expressed in hours

A part time employee who's entitled to 25 days per year and works 30 hours per week, regardless of their working pattern, receives 150 annual leave hours for the year.

25 days
x 7.4 hours per day
/ 37 hours per week
x 30 hours per week worked
= 150 hours annual leave entitlement

Remember to add on bank holidays using the same formula.

Term time only employees do not accrue additional annual leave that can be booked.

More detail can be found in the annual leave scheme

You can ‘buy’ up to 20 days extra annual leave in any one holiday year (pro rata for part-time staff). Approval from your manager is required, so that service needs are taken into account.

The scheme is open to all council employees, including those on temporary or fixed-term contracts. The scheme is not open to school employees.

Please read the buying additional leave scheme guide before you apply.

Your annual leave balance in iTrent includes your entitlement in hours for bank holidays. For a full-timer, this will be the number of bank holidays in the leave year x 7.4 hours (FTE working day).

If you work part time, you get a pro rata number of hours automatically added to your holiday balance.

For example, if you work 30 hours per week, and there are 8 bank holidays in the year, you'll be entitled to:

  • 8 x 7.4/37 (FTE)
  • x 30 (hours worked per week)
  • = 48 hours
  • 48 hours will be added to your holiday balance at the beginning of each leave year

You don’t need to book leave for bank holidays. When a bank holiday falls on one of your normal working days, iTrent automatically deducts the hours that would usually be worked based on your working pattern.

If a bank holiday falls on one of your non-working days iTrent will not deduct this from your holiday balance.

If you're booking a period of leave and a bank holiday falls within that period, you should ensure that you book your leave up to the bank holiday and then start the period again after the bank holiday.

You need to email HR Services and copy your line manager in.

If you get ill when on holiday, the days that you are ill can be recorded, and paid as sickness absence instead (and the hours credited to your holiday balance) as long as you give your manager a doctors' certificate.

Your manager will need to enter the sickness absence on iTrent and let HR Services know to credit your holiday balance for those days.

Before starting maternity, adoption or shared parental leave, wherever possible, you should ensure that you’ve taken the appropriate amount of annual leave.

You’re reminded that, where possible, annual leave must be taken in the year in which it's earned.

Requests will be considered to use outstanding leave entitlement to return to work on a flexible basis for an agreed period of time following maternity, adoption or shared parental leave.

Read the relevant guide for your needs.

Time off for parents

Maternity scheme guide

Paternity scheme guide

Adoption and surrogacy scheme guide

Shared parental leave scheme

If you change your hours or get a new job at a different grade your annual leave entitlement will be updated automatically. and if you have access, you’ll be able to see your new balance in iTrent self-service.

To work out the impact of any change for before applying for a new job or requesting a change in working hours please use the annual leave calculator.

You should use any outstanding leave during your notice period. Unused annual leave will only be paid in exceptional circumstances.

If you leave part way through the annual leave year, having taken more annual leave than you’re entitled to, that will be deducted from your final salary payment.

Use the annual leave calculator to work out how much leave you have left to take.

Up to 5 days (37 hours) pro rata can be carried over annually. HR services will action this automatically. You don’t need to do anything.

The carried over leave will not show in iTrent immediately, it can take up to 6 weeks to be added to your holiday balance for the new annual leave year.

It is the responsibility of individual employees to take annual leave within each leave year. In extremely exceptional circumstances, carry over in excess of 5 days (pro rata) may be authorised by the relevant corporate director. Otherwise any remaining annual leave will be lost..

Compassionate and bereavement leave

If you need to be away from work due to a bereavement or to care for a dependant you might be able to apply for leave. Please also see the information available in Time off for Parents.

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Line managers are authorised to grant up to 7 days paid leave of absence on the grounds of family bereavement, please see details below. More information is available in the compassionate and special leave policy.

You get 3 days paid leave on the death of a member of the immediate family - including a spouse, partner, parent, brother, sister or legal guardian.

You also get 1 day paid leave for other members of the family to attend the funeral. This includes:

  • a grandparent
  • grandchild
  • aunt
  • uncle
  • cousin
  • niece
  • nephew
  • mother-in-law
  • father-in-law
  • brother-in-law
  • sister-in-law
  • your partner’s immediate family

A further 2 days paid leave may be given if you, as next of kin, are required to make arrangements for the funeral or estate. This does not need to be taken consecutively or in full days.

If you need to attend a funeral where there is significant travelling time, a further 2 days paid leave may be agreed. If you need to attend family funerals abroad, you must ensure that you've been granted compassionate leave before leaving this country. Otherwise the time will be considered as annual leave or unpaid leave.

Compassionate and bereavement leave request form

Service directors are authorised to grant up to 4 weeks paid leave of absence should you need to care for a chronically sick or terminally ill member of your immediate family - this means a spouse, partner, child or parent.

This does not apply to:

  • routine doctor's appointments
  • clinic appointments
  • routine childhood vaccinations
  • illnesses such as chickenpox

These should be accommodated either by flexible working arrangements or by the taking of annual leave, flex leave or authorised unpaid leave.

It applies when, for example, if your child is unexpectedly admitted to hospital.

Service directors are authorised to grant up to 1 week’s leave of absence on full pay and 1 week’s leave of absence on half-pay.

You can take reasonable unpaid time off work to:

  • deal with certain unexpected or sudden emergencies
  • make necessary longer-term arrangements relating to a dependant

This is for unforeseen events. If you know in advance that you require time off, you should ask for annual leave or flex leave in the normal way.

This type of unpaid leave cannot be used to provide ongoing regular care for a dependant.

Paid bereavement leave or paid leave to care for a dependant can be requested either via iTrent self service or by completing this request form and sending it to your line manager.

Flex and annual leave can be requested in the usual way.

Unpaid leave can be requested by speaking to your line manager.

Other time off

Find out about time off for jury service, election duties or public duties. Also find out about careers breaks or temporarily changing your hours.

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You should inform your manager of the summons to serve on a jury as soon as you receive the notification.

You'll be granted paid leave to attend.

Election duties

If you agree to undertake official duties at Luton Council elections or referenda subject to service requirements, this will be paid.

Unpaid leave will be granted if undertaking this role for another council.

Public duties

The definition of public duties is contained in the Employment Rights Act 1996 Section (50)(1).

It covers a number of duties including:

  • member of a local authority
  • member of a statutory tribunal
  • monitoring board of a prison
  • member of a managing or governing body of an educational establishment maintained by a local authority
  • magistrates

Amount of paid time off available

The amount of paid time off available for these activities varies. Please refer to the appropriate paragraph in the compassionate and special leave policy.

You need to have a minimum of two years continuous service with the council at the start of the career break.

A career break can be for between 12 weeks and 18 months and is unpaid.

Continuous service for additional annual leave purposes, redundancy payments and long service awards will not accrue during the period of the career break. It is your responsibility to check the impact on your pension.

Career breaks cannot be used if you're on long term sick leave. You must be fit for work to apply for a career break.

You can return to the same post you held at the start of the career break. If it has been necessary to restructure the service during your absence, you'll have been consulted on the changes and will therefore return to the post you were appointed to during your career break.

For more information please read the career break scheme document.

Anyone who works at Luton can make a flexible working request. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve worked here or how many hours you work.

You can usually only make one formal request every 12 months but if things change and you need to make another request, talk to your manager and see what can be arranged.

You may request to work flexibly for any reason, such as:

  • reduction of hours for a better work life balance
  • change of working pattern to assist with caring responsibilities
  • to help with the commute to work

Whatever the reason for your request the council will fulfil its duty to consider it reasonably. Read these guidelines to find out more.

© 2022 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ