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The University of Otago Annual Leave Policy specifies that staff should be able to take their full annual leave entitlements within the year that it falls due. If that is not possible, staff can automatically carry forward up to 10 days annual leave into the next year.  Any carry forward leave in excess of 10 days requires approval - this is known as excess annual leave.

Human Resources support Departments to manage this process by providing advice and guidance, and a report outlining staff with excess annual leave. Any non-approved carry forward excess annual leave will be booked by Human Resources.


OctoberExcess Annual Leave Report issued to Departments
October – December 2023Departments to manage Excess Annual Leave with individual staff, DHRMs and HR Advisers can provide advice
21 December 2023Departments ensure all Christmas leave bookings have been requested and approved via the Staff Web Kiosk
31 January 2024Departments ensure all "Request to Carry Forward Excess Annual Leave" forms have been sent to Payroll
February 2024Departments and Human Resources finalise any data gaps
Late February 2024Payroll book non-approved carry forward Excess Annual Leave

Managing excess leave balances

The Excess Annual Leave Report is issued to Departments in October 2023, and outlines all staff that will have an excess leave balance as at 3 January 2024, if no further leave is taken. Departments should use this report to reduce the amount of leave carried over, or submit Request to Carry Forward Excess Annual Leave forms where appropriate.

Tip: Check whether there has been any annual leave taken during the year that has not been booked. This may help reduce the excess leave balance.

Download the 'How to read the excess annual leave report' factsheet (PDF)

Carrying forward excess leave

The Annual Leave Policy requires Divisional Head (Deans in Health Sciences) approval for any excess leave carried over. Given that many staff take their annual leave over the Christmas/New Year period:

  • If the excess annual leave booking starts on or before 3 January 2024 and is one continuous booking, and fully clears the excess balance, this will not be included in the excess balances and no carry over approval is required.
  • If the excess annual leave booking starts on or after 4 January 2024 or there is no booking at all, formal approval to carry over the excess leave must be documented via the 'Request to Carry Forward Excess Annual Leave' form. These must be received in Payroll by 31 January 2024.

Please note: Approving a future leave booking in the web kiosk does not automatically double as approving the carry over. This is because they usually require a different delegation level.

Once requests to carry forward excess annual leave have been approved, staff must book any annual leave they are taking as per normal via the Staff Web Kiosk.

Download the Request to Carry Forward Excess Annual Leave form (staff member to complete)
Access the Staff Web Kiosk

Excess annual leave not booked

Excess annual leave not approved to carry forward will be booked by Payroll as per the Annual Leave Policy. This will occur in February 2024.

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