Generic term used within many administrative sections of UK public sector to excuse/justify/advocate frivolous waste of public funds through unnecessary staff absence, and expense claims. Can cover various pursuits including, but must adhere to following: (1. Must NOT conclude with beneficial outcomes for funding body (the public), 2. Must offer opportunities to waste public money through paid absence, and unnecessary expense claims, 3. Must be so ludicrous in their inception to rile and annoy other tax payers.). Funding for special leave is regarded as a higher priority than employment, and as such is not affected even in austere times and redundancies.
Example of use: "hey, you hear about half of the department being made redundant last week? I only heard about it when I submitted my expense form for last week's special leave - we went skiing. Yeah it's so unfair all those redundancies - I blame the banks."