Compassionate leave

This page provides information on how employees can apply for compassionate leave.

Norsk versjon - Velferdspermisjon

Topic page on leave of absence | Pages tagged with leave

Apply for compassionate leave in the HR-portal

Apply for compassionate leave  #

  • When you have applied for compassionate leave in the HR-portal, your immediate superior receives your application for leave here.
  • It is up to each manager to assess whether to grant compassionate leave based on the individual employee's situation. 
  • You will receive a reply about whether your application has been granted in the HR-portal.

When can you use compassionate leave?  #

See the policy for compassionate leave below for guidance. 

  • You can be granted up to 12 working days of compassionate leave with pay per calendar year.
  • In most cases, compassionate leave is used only in connection with unforeseen events, with a few exceptions such as children's transition to daycare or after-school (SFO) facilities, or the first day of school: You are entitled to take 3 whole days off to help your child during the transition to preschool or after-school care. For the child’s first day of school, time off is granted on an hourly basis for up to 1 day. 

Policy for compassionate leave - supplementary rules  #

Date: 1 June 2011 

Under Section 22 of the Basic Collective Agreement, paid leave can be granted for compassionate reasons: “When there are important welfare and care considerations, an employee may be granted paid compassionate leave for up to 12 working days. If the employee so wishes and the duties of the service permit it, the employer may consent to flexible withdrawal of the leave days.” 

The definition of important welfare and care considerations has been discussed with the faculties and with the civil service unions, and on this basis the following guidelines have been specified for compassionate leave at NTNU: 
The most important principle is that the immediate superior must make a concrete assessment of the employee's needs. This means that applications based on grounds that seem to be similar may be treated differently. When applications are considered, factors to be taken into account include travel distances (see below in connection with death), lack of a network that could otherwise have provided support or respite, etc. 

It should usually be more difficult to grant applications based on foreseeable events than those based on unforeseen situations. In predictable situations, it will normally be possible to take compensatory time off or to use days of holiday leave. Planning days in day-care facilities and after-school care (SFO), confirmations, marriages, etc. are examples of events that will not normally provide a basis for compassionate leave.

Exceptions to this main principle are made for children's transition to day care and after-school care as well as for the first day of school: For helping children adjust to preschool or after-school care, time off is granted on an hourly basis for up to 3 full days, depending on the specific need. Similarly, for the first day of school, time off of up to 1 day is granted.

Applications based on events that have already been covered through other schemes do not provide grounds for compassionate leave. For example, this means that continuing and further education, courses, etc. do not provide a basis for time off if this has already been taken care of through a separate special agreement.

However, compassionate leave may be granted in connection with unforeseen events of great significance for the employee. This applies to illness and death in particular. Within certain limits, absence due to employees’ own illness or their children’s illness is handled through separate arrangements. However, it should be possible to accept an application for compassionate leave when children have been ill beyond these limits. 

In the same way, it should normally be possible to grant compassionate leave in connection with serious illness or other needs for care in the immediate family. Typical examples here will be illness and need for care of a spouse/partner, own parents, etc. It should also be possible to grant compassionate leave in connection with a death in the immediate family. Here the requirements will vary from situation to situation – not least due to different travel distances. The reasonableness of applications made on such grounds must therefore be assessed. 

Regular, long-term treatment by a doctor, psychologist, family therapist, physiotherapist, chiropractor or similar that does not naturally belong to the category allowing paid short-term absence in connection with medical and dental appointments may provide grounds for compassionate leave.

The life stage of the employee must also be taken into account when applications are considered. Different stages of life create different needs for compassionate leave.    

Statens personalhåndbok (the Personnel Handbook for State Employees) stipulates that the interests of the service must be protected in connection with applications for compassionate leave… “and the duties of the service permit it.” However, in the consideration of the application, NTNU wants the emphasis to be on the needs of the employee. 

The principle that staff should use compensatory time off or days of holiday leave in connection with foreseeable events requires a flexible attitude on the part of the immediate superior. 

References and legislation  #

Section 22 of Statens personalhåndbok (the Personnel Handbook for State Employees)

Contact  #

Contact your HR staff if you have questions about compassionate leave.

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