What initially seemed like an easy policy topic to tackle, I now discover that the Joint Service Publication on leave policy runs to 167 pages!!
What follows is therefore a much reduced summary of the main types of leave available to RAF personnel. Personnel seeking further detail need to access JSP 760 and should certainly check the detailed regulations before applying for any of the forms of leave described below:
The purpose of Annual Leave is to allow Service personnel time away from duty and so to return to work refreshed.
Annual Leave is an authorised period of absence of one or more days up to a maximum of 30 working days (plus any Annual Leave carried forward) per leave year for all Service personnel. The leave year runs from 1 April of one year to 31 March of the following year.
Service personnel joining or leaving the Service are eligible for leave on a proportionate basis. For example, when personnel join the Services part way through the Leave Year their Annual Leave allocation will be calculated using the formula: number of days left in the leave year divided by 365 (366 in a leap year) and multiplied by 30.
Service personnel should be recalled from Annual Leave only for the most compelling reasons. For example, it might be necessary to recall members of the Armed Forces on Annual Leave in the event of heightened tension or an emergency.
Up to 15 days’ Annual Leave that remains untaken at the end of each leave year will be carried forward automatically to the next leave year. Periods in excess of 15 days’ untaken Annual Leave may be carried forward to the next leave year, subject to the approval of the CO.
Travelling Time is designed primarily to ensure that Service personnel do not spend an inordinate amount of their leave entitlement in travelling to their home address. It might be appropriate, for example, to grant Travelling Time to an individual who was serving in the South of England and whose family resided in the Outer Isles of Scotland. On the other hand, it would be inappropriate to grant Travelling Time to an individual serving with his family in the South of England who decided to visit the Outer Isles of Scotland as part of a touring holiday.
Travelling Time may be authorised at the discretion of COs. It should not exceed 2 days in any one period of authorised absence.
A period of authorised absence consists of one or more working days on which a Service person is not required for duty.
The following types of Authorised Absence are available:
a. Public Holidays .
b. Sacred Festivals
d. Special Leave
e. Special Paid Leave