Leave & worklife balance

Annual leave

The annual leave policy covers areas such as:

  • entitlement (how many days holiday you receive)
  • public holiday consideration
  • carrying over holiday.

It shows you how to work out your leave based on your hours. If you are a line manager it provides information on things to consider when a member of your team makes a request. It also gives details on how the policy works alongside both the maternity and sickness absence policies.

The aim of the policy is to ensure annual leave is well planned throughout the year, with a uniform and fair approach for all staff. The policy is essential to help all employees achieve a successful work life balance.

Special leave

The special leave policy gives provision for time for personal and public reasons such as:

  • Compassionate leave – the death of a partner, close relative or someone with whom the member of staff has had a close relationship.
  • Emergency leave for domestic reasons – immediate and unforeseen needs relating to an unexpected breakdown in their usual circumstances, for example flood, fire, burglary or other serious domestic incident which could not be predicted.
  • Carers leave – refers to leave for immediate and unforeseen needs where normal care arrangements for a dependent breakdown at short notice.
  • Civil/Public – the CCG will allow staff to take reasonable paid leave for essential civic and public duties, examples such as:
    • Serving as a Justice of the Peace
    • Membership of any statutory tribunal
    • Membership of a Board of Prison Visitors
    • Membership of a School Governing Body
    • Territorial Army/Reserve Forces.
  • GP, dental or other health related appointments
  • Volunteering leave – is time off to volunteer in local health, social care and other organisations, including charities.
  • Leave for activities with emergency services
  • IVF/Fertility treatment
  • Parental leave
  • Unpaid leave – if you have exhausted all other leave entitlements and benefits, or the above benefits are not applicable to your circumstances. To staff who have entered into a period of whole time service in the armed services of the Crown.

Full details are in the Special Leave Policy.

Attendance management and wellbeing

We recognise that work is essential to health, wellbeing and self-esteem. The Attendance Management and Wellbeing Policy is designed to:

  • encourage and support staff to return to work following a period of sickness
  • support and manage staff who have underlying health conditions

The policy sets out the procedures for managing sickness absence. It describes the actions the CCG will take to make sure staff feel supported:

  • while living with a long term health condition
  • during periods of long term absence due to sickness

Employee Assistance Programme

As part of our the HR service, you now have access to a comprehensive Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).

The Employee Assistance Helpline is provided by Wellbeing Solutions Management (WSM). They are a leading supplier of psychological, counselling and advice resources to employers across the UK.

How can they help you?

The Employee Assistance Helpline offers:

  • Confidential support
  • Counselling and advice on a variety of personal, family or workplace issues
  • 24/7 freephone contact

How do you get support?

You can contact the Employee Assistance Helpline 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 0800 328 1437.

Book an appointment online by visiting Employee Assistance Online.

Here are some useful sites on ways to improve your wellbeing:

  • NHS Choices – Provides useful health information and links to other useful websites on healthier choices.
  • Change4Life – A national movement that aims to support people to exercise and eat a healthier diet.
  • Drinkaware – Useful information and advice about alcohol.
  • Smokefree – Information and support for people who would like to stop smoking.
  • Talk to Frank – Information and support on substance misuse.
  • Family Planning Association – Information and advice on all aspects of sexual health, sex and relationships.
  • Public Health England – Information on the latest public health news and statistics, health and wellbeing resources and PHE contacts.



Maternity, paternity, parental leave

Maternity and adoption leave

All pregnant employees are entitled to maternity leave. Paid entitlements are dependent upon length of continuous service with this CCG, and within the NHS.

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is subject to the level of National Insurance contributions paid by the employee. To qualify for SMP, employees must have continuous employment with the CCG for a minimum of 26 weeks by the end of the 14th week before the expected week of confinement (EWC) i.e. in the 15th week before the baby is due.

Full details and conditions are in the CCG’s Maternity, Paternity, Adoption/Parental Leave Policy.


Paternity leave (Maternity support) is provided to allow staff time away from work following the birth or adoption of a child.

Two types of leave are available:

  • Ordinary Paternity Leave  – available for up to two weeks following the birth of the baby; and
  • Shared Paternity Leave – staff may be entitled to take up to 50 weeks shared parental leave during the child’s first year in their family.

The number of weeks available is calculated using the mother’s/adopter’s entitlement to maternity/adoption leave, which allows them to take up to 52 weeks’ leave. If they reduce their maternity/adoption leave entitlement then they and/or their partner may opt-in to the SPL system and take any remaining weeks as shared parental leave.

Full details and conditions are in the CCG’s Maternity, Paternity, Adoption/Parental Leave Policy.

Parental leave/Shared Parental leave

Parental leave applies to all employees in the NHS who have nominated caring responsibility for a child under age 18. Employees must have completed one year’s service with an NHS employer to qualify for this leave.

Parental leave should not be confused with Shared Parental Leave which is a new entitlement for eligible parents of children due to be born or adopted on or after 5 April 2015. The purpose of parental leave is to care for a child. This means looking after the welfare of a child and can include making arrangements for the benefit of a child.

The leave might be taken simply to enable parents/legal guardians to spend more time with children and strike an improved balance between their work and family commitments. Examples of the way leave might be used include:

  • To spend more time with the child;
  • To accompany a child during a stay in hospital;
  • Checking out new schools;
  • Settling a child into new childcare arrangements;
  • To enable a family to spend more time together.

Full details and conditions are in the CCG’s Maternity, Paternity, Adoption/Parental Leave Policy.

Booking leave on ESR

You should book all your annual leave through the ESR portal. We no longer using any paper forms for booking leave.

Accessing your account

If you are unable to login to your ESR account, read ESR access issues. It also tells you who to contact in the HR and ODL team to reset your password.

Continuous service and carryover leave

If you have any questions about this or information is incorrect, please contact Selina Jassal in the HR and ODL team.

Booking leave on ESR

There’s a section called ‘My Annual Leave’ on the ESR homepage. Use this simple guide on how to book Leave on ESR (the app is also known as MyESR).

Bank Holidays 

Full time and part time staff must ‘book’ bank holidays. If it falls on a non-working day as part of a routine working pattern then you don’t need to book it.

Change of hours or years’ service

The ESR system will update your entitlement.

Amending incorrect hours

Your line manager can amend this using the team absence calendar.

Agile working

Agile working is based on the concept that work is an activity that we undertake, rather than a place that we go.

Agile working allows organisations to work smartly and to take advantage of the opportunities available as a result of technology and situations where staff travel as a requirement of their role.

Flexible working

We have introduced a flexible working policy to support initiatives that make a different to the work-life balance here. This is because we recognise the need to develop flexible working arrangements. This allows staff to balance work responsibilities with other aspects of their lives. The policy outlines:

  • the process for a request
  • the timescales involved
  • what to consider and assess when making a request
  • the appeals process

Contacts & links

Agnes Annan
HR Business Partner
Tel: 07917 513863
Email: agnes.annan2@nhs.net

Jennifer Brandy
HR Officer
Tel: 07884 338683
Email: jennifer.brandy@nhs.net

Rajeni Bhakar
HR Junior Officer
Email: rajeni.bhakar@nhs.net

Recruitment and Operational HR team

The Recruitment and Operational team is based at Herts Valley CCG.

Louise Dent
Recruitment and HR Operations Manager
Tel: 07467 688248
Email: louise.dent1@nhs.net

Claire Bushell
Recruitment Advisor
Tel: 07919 110582
Email: c.bushell@nhs.net

Anthony Sembatya
Interim Workforce Information Manager
Email: anthony.sembatya@nhs.net