HR0305 – Annual Leave (Vacation)
To provide regular staff and 12-month faculty with paid time away from work.
The following information applies to regular employees and 12-month faculty:
- With the exception of military leave, employees must be in an active status to accrue annual leave (vacation). Active status does not include any period of unpaid leave of absence or any non-working period for a flex-year employee.
- Employees accrue annual leave on a monthly basis on the first day of each month. New hires will receive annual leave on the first day of employment subject to 1c.
- The amount of annual leave accrued is based on the constructed annual leave date, the work schedule (planned working time) as recorded in IRIS, the employee's Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) designation of non-exempt or exempt, and the number of workdays in the month the employee is eligible to accrue leave.
- An employee with two or more periods of service as a regular employee shall be credited with this service to establish the constructed annual leave date.
- If an absence without pay exceeds two weeks, the employee will be placed on leave of absence without pay and the constructed annual leave date will be revised.
- Payment of annual leave will be made at the employee's current regular rate of pay at the time of payment.
- Annual leave may not be taken until accrued and may not be advanced. Leave must be approved in advance by the supervisor. Failure to follow departmental procedure in requesting leave and obtaining approval may result in the use of leave being denied.
- Eligible regular full-time exempt staff and 12-month faculty earn and accrue annual leave at the rate of 16 hours per month. A maximum of 336 hours may be carried forward from one calendar year to the next year.
- Eligible regular full-time biweekly staff (hourly input) and monthly non-exempt staff (hourly no input) employees earn and accrue annual leave as follows:
- 8 hours per month worked for the first five years of service. A maximum of 240 hours may be carried forward from one calendar year to the next.
- 12 hours per month worked during the sixth year and through the tenth year of service. A maximum of 288 hours may be carried forward from one calendar year to the next.
- 14 hours per month worked during the eleventh year and through the twentieth year of service. A maximum of 312 hours may be carried forward from one calendar year to the next.
- 16 hours per month worked with more than twenty years of service. A maximum of 336 hours may be carried forward from one calendar year to the next.
Eligible regular part-time employees who begin employment on or before January 31, 2014, will accrue annual leave at a rate pro rata to their planned working time in IRIS. Effective December 31, 2014, the maximum annual leave hours that may be carried forward from one calendar year to the next is also pro rata to the employee’s percentage of effort as recorded in IRIS.
Eligible regular part-time employees who begin employment on or after February 1, 2014, accrue annual leave if their planned working time as recorded in IRIS is 75 percent effort or more. Annual leave is accrued at a rate pro rata to their planned working time in IRIS at 75 percent or more. The maximum annual leave hours that may be carried forward from one calendar year to the next is also pro rata to the employee’s percentage of effort as recorded in IRIS.
If a regular part-time employee who begins employment on or after February 1, 2014, has a planned working time in IRIS less than 75 percent, he or she is ineligible to accrue annual leave. However, any unused annual leave balance may be requested and approved by the supervisor for use until it is exhausted.
- The accrual rate in effect on the day the employee accrues leave determines the accrual for the month. If this day is also an accrual rate transition date, the new higher accrual rate is used.
- Annual leave accrued in excess of the applicable maximums stated in 2, 3 and 4 shall be transferred to sick leave at the end of each calendar year—normally December 31. If this day is also an accrual rate transition date, the new higher carry forward limit is used. If the employee is not in active status on this date, the leave carried forward is based on the maximum year-end carryover effective on the employee's last day in an active status.
- During employment, if an absence without pay exceeds two weeks, the employee should be placed on leave of absence without pay. Any annual leave due the month in which the employee returns to work will be granted on the first day he or she returns to an active pay status and prorated according to 1c, 2, 3, and 4. If an employee fails to return from a leave of absence with or without pay, a lump sum payment shall be made for accrued annual leave at the salary rate in effect prior to the leave.
- Within the IRIS retroactivity period, adjustments can be entered in IRIS. Time Evaluation will automatically re-evaluate the time for the prior pay periods.
Adjustments for pay periods older than the retroactivity period are made by a quota correction processed by the campus human resources office. Requests and supporting documentation should be forwarded for these adjustments
Approved Military Leave
- Employees on approved military leave will be credited with all such military service for the purpose of annual leave accrual rates.
- When an employee who has been accruing annual and sick leave transfers to any other department of the university, the receiving department will generally be responsible for the annual and sick leave balances, unless one of the following specific conditions applies.
- Transfer to a Regular Academic Year Position. When an employee who has been accumulating annual and sick leave transfers to a regular academic year position in which leave does not accrue, the employee should be strongly encouraged to take his or her annual leave before the transfer, unless there is an immediate and urgent need for those services. If this is not possible, the unused annual leave will be transferred to an inactive status; if the employee retires or later returns to a position with the university for which annual and sick leave accrue, the annual and sick leave balances will be restored to the employee and will become the responsibility of the receiving department. Finally, if the employee terminates from the university (for any reason other than gross misconduct) while holding the academic position, a lump-sum payment will be made for the annual leave accrued. The currently-employing department will be responsible for the annual leave payment, which for computational purposes will be the current salary annualized on a 12-month basis (excluding summer pay and extra pay). The sick leave balance may be utilized for retirement purposes or later restored to the individual if he or she returns to regular employment with a higher education institution or another state agency.
- Transfer to a Student Position. When an employee who has been accumulating annual and sick leave accepts a position as a student employee in which annual and sick leave do not accrue, the employee should be strongly encouraged to take his or her accumulated annual leave prior to leaving the regular position. When this is not possible, a lump sum payment shall be made for accumulated annual leave at the salary rate in effect prior to the change up to the maximums stated in 2, 3 and 4.
- Transfer to Work on a Grant or Contract. When an employee who is in a position for which annual and sick leave accrue transfers to work under a grant or contract and has accumulated annual leave, the department sponsoring the grant or contract assumes responsibility for this annual leave balance. Employees who accrue annual and sick leave on grant or contract appointments are encouraged to use their annual leave during their period of appointment on the grant or contract. However, it is the responsibility of the principal investigator and the sponsoring department to ensure that funds are available for lump-sum payments of unused annual leave if the grant or contract expires, requiring the termination of the employee, or if the employee terminates employment while working on the grant or contract. If such an employee transfers from work on the grant or contract to another department and has neither taken nor been paid for accumulated annual leave, the receiving department will be responsible for the annual leave balance.
- If an employee terminates employment with the University of Tennessee without a break in service to accept employment with another state agency or Tennessee Board of Regents institution, all accumulated annual leave will be transferred to the employing agency.
- Re-employment with the University of Tennessee within 42 working days after termination may require transferring or reinstating annual leave. See POLICY HR0360, LEAVE TRANSFER BETWEEN THE UNIVERSITY AND STATE AGENCIES.
- Upon termination of employment, any accrued annual leave in excess of the maximum carry-forward amount is credited to the sick leave balance of the terminating employee, and the remaining balance is paid to the employee. Employees terminated for gross misconduct will lose all rights to all accumulated annual leave.
- No regular employee of the University of Tennessee may receive pay for accrued, unused annual leave while still in a regular employee group, either on an academic year or a 12-month year basis
- At the time of retirement, retirees may elect a lump sum payment of unused annual leave. If this election is made, retirement contributions will not be made on the value of the unused leave, and the amount of payment will not be included as part of the retiree's average final compensation. Should the retiree elect not to receive the lump sum payment for annual leave, he or she will be extended on the payroll until all annual leave has been used. In such a case, the university will make retirement contributions on behalf of the employee and creditable service for retirement will be granted. Additionally, the value of the leave will be included in the retiree's average final compensation.
- See POLICY HR0307, BENEFIT IN THE EVENT OF EMPLOYEE DEATH, for applicable policy regarding payment for accrued annual leave.
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