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Leave Policy & Holiday Changes

Effective August 1, 2021

The University has updated some of our leave policies and holiday schedule in order to:

  • Make staff leave benefits less complex, easier to understand and use
  • Allow staff more flexibility to use and carry forward vacation days
  • Be responsive to the needs of employees
  • Reduce manual processes

Vacation 

Before After 
Employees with 0-4 years of service accrue 12 days of vacation annually. Employees with 0-4 years of service accrue 15 days of vacation annually.
Current practice allows vacation time to accrue beyond the maximum until the anniversary date, when they are reset. Maximum vacation accrual has been doubled for all employees. Vacation will stop accruing when the maximum is reached. Accrual will not reset on the anniversary date. Accrual will begin again once leave has been used.
Employees may convert up to 10 days of sick leave to 5 days of bonus vacation. Bonus vacation is tracked separately and expires on December 31 each year. Employees may convert up to 10 days of sick leave to 5 days of regular vacation. Converted vacation days will no longer expire and the bonus vacation category will be removed. Vacation converted after August 1, 2021 will go to regular vacation. Bonus vacation converted prior to August 1, 2021 must be used by December 31, 2021.
Vacation balances grow until they are reset at the anniversary date and vacation is paid out based on the balance at the time of resignation. Vacation payout upon leaving the University will be capped at yearly allowance plus five days.

Holidays

Before After
Non-exempt employees required to work on a University holiday can choose to be paid double time or can take the holiday at another time within the same pay period. All non-exempt employees required to work holiday will only be paid double time for hours worked.
Employees may take 1 personal day each year (which does not carry over to the next year). The personal day will be discontinued.
The Employee Appreciation Day trip to Busch Gardens provided employees with half a day of paid leave and entry and meal tickets to Busch Gardens for employees and dependents. The Employee Appreciation Day trip to Busch Gardens has been eliminated.
The number of holidays varies between 13 - 15 based on the calendar. The University will provide 15 paid holidays a year.
Holiday hours not worked count towards overtime pay calculations for non-exempt employees. Holidays hours not worked will not count towards overtime pay calculations.

How to Check Your Leave Balances

  1. Log in to bannerweb.richmond.edu
  2. Select Employee
  3. Select Employee Self-Service
  4. Your leave balances display at the top of the Employee Dashboard

FAQs

What do employees gain with the changes? It feels like we are losing benefits with the elimination of the Personal Day.

The total number of paid holidays has been increased to 15 a year. In the past, it could be as few as 13 (not including the half-day of Employee Appreciation Day), with a variable Winter Break. Winter Break will now include 6 paid days of leave.

Vacation accrual has also been increased for employees with 0-4 years of service, meaning that in their first year of employment, a full-time employee would have a minimum of 30 paid days of leave. In addition, the maximum vacation accruals for all years of service have increased.

In addition, we hope recruiting and retention efforts will be more successful, as shown below:

Employees with 0-4 years of experience now have 30 days of paid leave a year instead of 26.5 - 28.5 days.

Can I still use my personal day this year?

Yes, you may still use your personal day through the end of 2021.

Why are we discontinuing Employee Appreciation Day at Busch Gardens?

This was a difficult decision, impacted by three things:

  • In the past, the appreciation event at Busch Gardens drew large attendance and served as a community building event. In recent years, though, only a small number of employees took advantage of the benefit so it no longer serves that community building function. Most employees are unable to attend, or are uninterested in attending, the theme park.
  • Even though the day may still be used for infrastructure work in some years, employees are able to continue working – either remotely or in different locations while the work is undertaken.
  • Campus Operations and IS can now schedule work on different days during the summer and are not required to hold everything for a specific day.
There are many employees who would not otherwise be able to take their family to an amusement park. What can we do?

We are currently looking for ways to make discounted Busch Gardens tickets available.

Employees already have access to the TicketsAtWork program through your Employee Perks and Discounts (see: Services and Online Shopping) to receive access to 20 – 60% off on movies, hotels, shows, concerts, sporting events and more.

Why isn't Employee Appreciation Day going be a holiday going forward?

In 2020 and 2021, we replaced the Busch Gardens trip with a full day of paid leave due to safety concerns and to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts by employees during the pandemic. 

The half-day holiday has historically been held during a period of campus-wide maintenance, during which time many employees from various departments keep necessary operations running and prepare campus for the fall semester. 

Since most employees are able to continue working, even during the shutdown of certain infrastructure, the holiday is no longer needed.

Does holiday pay (time not working) count towards overtime for hourly employees?

No, effective August 1, 2021, holiday time does not count towards overtime hours. All time actually worked will count towards overtime.

If my anniversary date is in May or June do I need to use all vacation over the current limit to prevent losing it?

Yes, the new polices go into effect August 1, 2021. If you have a large vacation balance and your anniversary is prior to August 1, 2021, you should plan to use any accrued vacation that is over your annual accrual plus 5 days.

Do we now receive all vacation days at one time?

No, we still accrue as we have in the past.

Effective August 1, we will be paid out our annual vacation accrual plus 5 days. Since we can carry a balance of two times our accrual upon termination/retirement can we extend our term/retirement date to use vacation?

No. An employee’s actual termination day must be the last day worked, and cannot be extended by the use of vacation leave.

Vacation leave is provided for employees to take time away from work during the year to rejuvenate and refresh.

I have been at the University for 6 years and accrue 15 days of vacation per year. Effective August 1, new employees will accrue the same amount I accrue, even though I have worked at the University for 6 years.

That is correct. This policy provides more flexibility for our newer employees to take vacation throughout the year. We also hope this benefit will help with our recruiting and retention efforts.

If I have been at the University for 21 years and will have a balance of 43 days on August 1st will my balance go to 40 on August 1?

Yes, effective August 1 you can accrue up to two times your annual accrual, or 40 days in this case. To prevent losing vacation days, you should work with your manager to schedule some leave prior to August 1. The University’s vacation accrual is designed to encourage employees to take regular leave to rest and recharge. All employees are encouraged to take their vacation allotments.

Are we going to get email reminders when we are about to stop accruing?

No, you will need to check BannerWeb to determine your balances (see instructions above).

What if I celebrate a religious holiday that is not a paid University holiday?

We hope that by increasing the number of vacation days an employee can accrue this will allow for flexibility to take a vacation day to celebrate holidays.