Responsible Holiday Policy


1. Policy Intent

We operate a responsible holiday policy at the Forward Institute. This means that we recognise that year by year events may dictate that team members need more or less holiday than what is in a contract; we therefore do not want to restrict the holiday that can be taken as long as team members are taking ownership for their job and getting their work done.

2. Why we have a responsible holiday policy

Our holiday policy is designed to fit with our working culture: we want team members to take responsibility for their work and empower them to make decisions that balances their own needs with those of the organisation. We believe it is important that team members take the time they need in order to perform well in their job. We also want to trust team members to be fair to the rest of the team and that they will get their work done regardless of the time they take away from the office. This fits with our ‘care more’ principle:

‘As a team we care for, and respect each other… we don’t take advantage of the flexible nature of the workplace or of company time and equipment. We perform our individual roles in a nature that is beneficial to the team and the Institute as a whole.’

Team members should respect the principle of the policy; it is designed to allow people to take more if circumstances necessitate it; but not to enable certain team members to have an extra benefit over others. It is a two way street- we offer flexibility because we want to invest in the team’s personal lives, but they must also invest in our mission, ensure they get their work done, and don’t put other team members in a position whereby they are having to pick up more work, or feel that they are being taken advantage of.

2.1. Minimum

Team members should take a minimum of 20 days’ holiday (excluding bank holidays). This is the legal minimum in the UK.

2.1. Norm

There has been some confusion over what our holiday policy means in reality. Team members should consider 30 days (excluding bank holidays) to be an approximate norm. This is not a restriction. It could, however, be seen as a rough long term average. However, we are far more concerned with efficiency and performance; you should take the holiday required to perform at your most effective.  

3. Housekeeping


3.1. Right to revoke

Our responsible holiday policy will remain on continual trial basis. It may be revoked after consultation with the team in the event that it is not working for the team as a whole.

In exceptional circumstances, an individual’s right to the responsible holiday policy may be revoked.


3.2. Booking in holiday

Holiday requests should be emailed to your line manager, copying in Jess. We will always look to approve requests as long as they do not have a significant negative impact on the team and our work. 1 week holidays should be booked a minimum of 1 month in advance; 1 day holidays should be booked a minimum of 1 week in advance; although we do obviously understand that occasionally, there will be a need for last minute emergency leave requests.

4. Other forms of leave

4.1. Sick Leave

If you are unable to attend work due to sickness or injury you should inform your line manager as soon as possible and let them know how long you expect to be away from work. Please continue to keep them updated if the sickness or injury continues longer than expected. If you are out of the office for more than 5 working days in a row, you will need to provide a Doctor’s note.

If you feel well enough to work from home, but not well enough to come into the office, please let the team know that you will be working from home.

You will be paid your standard wage for the first week of any sickness. Beyond this, as a minimum, you will receive statutory sick pay.

2.2. Caring Leave

You have the right to request flexible working for caring responsibilities, and we will do what we can to accommodate such requests, but it will be at the business’ discretion and circumstance dependent.

2.3. Bereavement Leave

In the event of the death of a close relative (a parent, child, sibling, partner or similar in-law relation) you are entitled to up to two weeks paid leave.

You may take a further 2 weeks of unpaid compassionate leave after consultation with your line manager.

We understand a full return to work may not always be possible. In this event, we will allow a phased return on a part time or reduced hours basis where practicable. Your salary will be adjusted accordingly.

You may take paid time off for funerals of those outside of the ‘close relative’ relationship.