News and Notices

Annual Leave Purchase Scheme (ALPS) 2019/20

We are again pleased to be able to offer all staff the opportunity to purchase additional annual leave for the year 2019/20.

We are committed to improving the health & wellbeing of our employees and the continuation of this staff benefit will help us to find a better balance between our personal and our work commitments. There may be instances for example where a member of staff:

•   Is planning a special event or trip

•   Needs extra leave for personal reasons

•   Simply would like more annual leave.

Any additional leave bought through this scheme would have to be used by the end of March 2020 and would be unpaid, the cost of which would be deducted from an employee’s salary spread over their annual leave year. This will ensure you continue to receive a monthly salary but at an appropriately reduced rate to reflect the unpaid leave you’ve purchased. An example is shown in the table below of how much someone on the mid-point of a band would need to have deducted from their monthly pay in order to take one week’s additional annual leave.

EXAMPLE – monthly deductions for Additional Annual Leave Purchase Scheme (based on 2019/20 payscales).


Example based on mid-point of band gross basic salary (full-time) £

Approx £ gross cost of one week's annual leave (37.5 hrs)

Approx Gross monthly deduction £

Band 1




Band 2




Band 3




Band 4




Band 5




Band 6




Band 7




Band 8a




Band 8b




Band 8c




Band 8d




Band 9




The scheme provides the opportunity to buy up to two working weeks (ten days, pro-rata if appropriate).

Employment would not be broken during any unpaid leave period(s) and continuous service would be maintained.

Approval of any additional annual leave purchase is not guaranteed and would always be subject to the operational requirements of the service, which must remain a priority. The additional leave form must be completed and signed by the individual and their line manager. The ‘principles’ list below describes this in more depth.

The deadline to apply is 28 February 2019, so please ensure if you wish to make an application that you do so before this date. If your line manager is not available to agree this please escalate the decision to their line manager.

How to apply

You must complete the HR27 form and have it authorised by your line manager. Completed application forms (those that your manager has authorised and also if they do not agree to your purchase of additional leave) should be returned to Systems & Information Team at: or addressed to the Systems & Information Team, People Services at Peter McCarthy Suite, Walton Hospital.

Scanned forms will be accepted as long as both signatures can be clearly seen.

N.B. You may be aware that in the new NHS Pay Award 2018 it was stated that there would be a national buy/sell annual leave scheme however details of this have not yet been published so DCHS will continue with our existing scheme.  If however the new national scheme becomes available for 2019/20 further details will be communicated.



The scheme provides the opportunity to ‘buy’ up to two working weeks (ten working days – pro-rata if appropriate).

Employment would not be broken during the unpaid leave period(s) and continuous service would be maintained.

Approval of any additional annual leave purchase would not be guaranteed, and would always be subject to the operational requirements of the service which must remain a priority.  To ask for this additional leave the attached form must be completed and signed by the individual and their line manager.

Please note the following:

  • Separate requests have to be made for each leave year. Applications this year have to be submitted no later than 28 February 2019.
  • If you have more than one assignment separate requests will be required for each assignment.
  • New starters would be able to submit their first application in February following their start date with the Trust and upon satisfactory completion of their probationary period.
  • DCHS would reserve the right to refuse an employee's application to purchase additional annual leave. It may be necessary to refuse an employee's request for operational or technical reasons related to their job. If approval is not given, managers must give reasons and explore other options with the employee. Any application forms not authorised must still be sent to the Systems & Information Team with the manager having stated the reason for not authorising.
  • Additional annual leave should be applied for and taken in the line with the normal annual leave procedures.
  • Any deductions from salary to pay for the additional leave will be made monthly and calculated at the employee’s rate of pay as at the date of the agreement. This will usually commence on the 1 April for that leave year. There may be occasions where this is delayed depending on when the new pay rates are notified to NHS Employers.
  • There would be no increase in the normal leave ‘carry forward’ provisions and managers and employees must ensure proper planning and management of the taking of the additional annual leave.
  • If, having purchased additional annual leave, the employee fails to take it before the end of the relevant leave year, the leave will be lost and no reimbursement made.
  • Where a request has been received and approved, the employee will be notified in writing by the Systems & Information team and also the details of the appropriate change to pay.
  • Employees leaving DCHS will be reimbursed if the salary deductions on leaving amount to more than the leave taken. If on leaving, the value of the salary deductions made during the relevant leave year are less than the value of the leave taken, DCHS would reserve the right (in line with contractual provision) to require repayment and will be entitled to deduct the outstanding amount from salary or other payment due to the employee.
  • If the final salary is not sufficient to allow for the whole of such a deduction, the employee will be required to repay the outstanding amount within one month of the date of termination of their employment.


Adjustments To Pay And Recording Of Additional Annual Leave

Where an employee requests to purchase additional annual leave, this would result in a deduction from their monthly salary for their whole leave year. 

The monthly deduction would be calculated and notified to the employee, by the Systems & Information team, as soon as possible following receipt of the approved request from the employee’s line manager.

Employees would be asked to note that by completing and submitting the appropriate form that, if approved, this form would also constitute their consent to any applicable salary adjustment.

In the event that an employee’s salary changes during a leave year, the agreed additional annual leave purchase amount would remain unchanged. It should be noted however that can work to the benefit or detriment of the employee.

If there is a change to an employee’s hours i.e. they reduce their hours then it would result in someone having bought more than their actual current pro-rata entitlement. In such cases the additional leave would still be allowed.

The cost of the additional annual leave will be calculated by:

  • Multiplying the additional days the employee wishes to purchase by the hours in their standard working day to give the total number of hours of additional annual leave;
  • Calculate the cost of the additional annual leave by multiplying the number of hours by the hourly rate;
  • Where this calculation may create a payment below the national minimum wage or national living wage then the individual will be contacted and may need to request a lesser amount of leave to compensate.
  • Where someone has purchased additional leave, and then is absent from work and does not receive enough pay from which to make the monthly deduction, any amounts owing will be deducted at the earliest opportunity or if applicable recalculated at the end of the annual leave year which could result in an overpayment being generated.  The employee would be required to repay any leave overtaken.
  • A separate monthly deduction will be made
  • The additional annual leave purchased will be recorded on ESR by the Systems & Information team.

Impact on Pension

It has been confirmed by the Pension Department that there will be no impact on pensions if you decide to participate in this scheme.