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Unpaid Leave of Absence

This Policy is only applicable to UCL staff seconded to Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan

Guidance on processing requests

Unpaid Leave of Absence requests must be agreed (including details of the dates and the reason for the leave) with the Head of the UCL Centre for Preparatory Studies (CPS) and approved by the Director of the Centre for Languages and International Education (CLIE) who should then sign the application form and forward it to HR Operations, at least one month prior to the expected start date. Once the SiP form is submitted, HR will make the necessary adjustments and stop payments to the employee for the duration of the unpaid period. In cases where an absence is anticipated to be longer than one academic year the Director of CLIE must take advice from the HR Consultancy Team.

Note: The unpaid leave of absence process must not be used to book maternity or annual leave.

Reason for absence

In this section please give a brief description of the reason for the unpaid leave. Examples of situations where a request for unpaid leave may be appropriate are outlined below:

Pension Scheme Rules

For further information regarding the financial implications of any of the following options during the unpaid period, please contact UCL Pensions Services.
Please note the specific pension rules which apply to unpaid leave:

  • Universities Pension Scheme (USS)

USS members may voluntarily maintain death and ill health retirement cover within USS by electing to pay a Special Contribution during an unpaid leave period. No pensionable service credit will be provided to a USS member for the unpaid leave period.

If USS members are interested in paying a special contribution to maintain death and ill health retirement cover, this should be appropriately indicated on the leave of absence form. Pension Services will forward the employee a USS Special Contribution application form.

  • Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

AVCs will be suspended during periods of unpaid leave

  • Annual Flights

Please note that unpaid leave will result in the reduction of annual flight entitlements pro rata to the remainder of the contract year.1 UCL will recoup the flight costs pro rata to the remainder of the contract year, where the flights are taken before the application for unpaid leave. 2

HR Policy and Planning
December 2013



1The contract year is the 12 month period from the anniversary of the employee’s date of appointment.

2 The annual flight reduction provision does not apply to paid leave granted in terms of the Leave for Domestic and Personal Reasons Policy.