Buy-out is leave taken to enable the individual to work on his/her research. Potential sponsors of buyouts must be recognised by the School and must provide clear indication of the level of financial compensation available.
The Research Office will make every effort to ensure that contracts allow the School to claim compensation commensurate with the status of the person concerned, and that the maximum amount available is claimed in every case.
The individual continues to be paid normally by the School but the leave is supported by a research grant either from external sources (ESRC, Nuffield, Leverhulme, etc.) or from internal sources (STICERD, CEP, etc) for replacement teaching purposes. Potential sponsors of buyouts must be recognised by the School and must provide clear indication of the level of financial compensation available.
Occasionally individuals who need/want to complete a piece of research but fail to secure a research grant buy themselves out by coming off the School payroll for the period of the leave concerned. In these circumstances the School maintains employer's USS contributions as for staff on special leave (secondment).
Members of staff who have been granted special leave without pay should speak with the Pensions Team, HR Division, before departure, so that questions relating to the recovery of Superannuation and National Insurance Contributions can be settled.
A member of staff may apply for buyout of teaching and associated duties up to a maximum level (which is not an entitlement) equivalent of 40% of the normal load in any five year period (40% equates to six terms or two years).
This regulation allows for perpetual rolling 40% leave and provision for rolling leave is essential for the direction of research centres. Time spent on Sabbatical Leave will not be included in the five-year period.
Each Department will be expected to ensure that the total level of absences for all reasons does not exceed what is appropriate to its size and needs, and that the entitlement to Sabbatical Leave is given precedence over other types of absence.
All applications for leave are considered on an individual basis. Applications must be made on the form available from the HR. The member of staff should complete the relevant part of the form and send it to the Head of Department and (if relevant) to the Head of the Centre or Institute concerned.
The Head of Department will complete the section of the form relating to the implications for departmental resources, and will make a recommendation. The case will then be considered by the Appointments Committee, which is responsible for ensuring that the standard of work in the School will not suffer as a result of the proposed arrangements, and will take into account the total amount of leave granted to members of the Department concerned.
If the request is approved, the papers will be passed to the APRC, which is responsible for the allocation of resources.