NHS Staff Council guidance on annual leave during COVID-19

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The NHS Staff Council has agreed guidance to support the management of annual leave during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taking regular annual leave is an important factor in supporting staff health and wellbeing, and the impact of the pandemic has meant that some staff have had annual leave cancelled or have not been able to book annual leave due to the needs of the service. 

The guidance sets out some supporting principles which will help employers and local trade unions work in partnership to review their local annual leave policies in response to COVID-19.

As we move into the next phase, the NHS can expect to face new challenges as it responds to the continued emergency demands of the pandemic while at the same time rebuilding capacity to address the backlog of unmet care, as a result of cancelled operations and appointments.

It will be important for employers and staff side colleagues to work in partnership to consider the management of annual leave over the next period, ensuring a fair approach which recognises the need for flexibility to support the health and wellbeing of staff, whilst maintaining safe and effective staffing levels.

Download the guidance. 

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