Human Resources

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Human Resources

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Vacation Time Policy

Please Note: The university is currently in the process of changing the way that vacation time is administered. The current policy is outlined below, and further information regarding the transition, including a “Frequently Asked Questions” page can be found on our Vacation Time Transition Plan page.


Staff members' annual vacation entitlement is calculated on the basis of their years of continuous service with the University as of July 1st of each year in accordance with the following table:

Years of Continuous Service Vacation Days
Less than one year One day for each completed month of service
to a maximum of 10 days
After 1 year 15 days (3 weeks)
After 3 years 16 days
After 4 years 17 days
After 5 years 18 days
After 6 years 19 days
After 7 years 20 days
After 10 years 21 days
After 12 years 22 days
After 14 years 23 days
After 16 years 24 days
After 18 years 25 days
After 19 years 26 days
After 20 years 27 days
After 22 years 28 days
After 24 years 29 days
After 25 years 30 days

Vacation utilization however, is based on the calendar year and thus begins on January 1. Employees may begin to take a portion of their anticipated entitlement as outlined in the above table, in advance of accumulating their full entitlement.

The Employment Standards Act requires that a record of vacations earned and taken by staff members be maintained by the Employer. The department head/designate who approves vacation scheduling is responsible for keeping accurate records of each staff member's entitlement and vacation taken.


  1. The above table applies to full-time employees. The same general guidelines apply to, for example, continuing part-time employees, term employees and reduced responsibility employees. However, their entitlement shall be pro-rated to reflect time worked in their particular appointment.

  2. For the purposes of vacation day accrual during the first year of employment, employees hired between the 1st and the 15th day of a month inclusive, will be entitled to a full vacation day for that month. Those hired between the 16th and the last day of the month will be entitled to 1/2 day.

  3. Staff members will normally take their annual vacation entitlement in the year for which the vacation is intended. However, in special situations, with the prior approval of the department head/designate, vacations may be allowed to carry over. Requests for carry over of vacations should be made in writing to the department head/designate prior to December 1 and should indicate the specific reason for the carry over. Carried over vacation entitlement must be used in the subsequent year. It is not the policy of the University to pay employees in lieu of taking vacation time.

  4. Where a staff member has taken an unpaid leave of absence (not including maternity, adoption or parental leave) for a period or periods exceeding 1 month in the 12 month period preceding July 1, vacation entitlement shall be pro-rated for the period or periods actually worked.

  5. The department head/designate is responsible for scheduling staff vacations at times which are as convenient as possible to the individual consistent with a reasonable recognition of the operational requirements of the department. Normally, at least a preliminary vacation schedule for all members of the department should be established early in the year. While changes may be made subsequently, this approach will provide an early indication of any conflicting vacation plans. Staff members are expected to give adequate notice of any change in vacation plans to allow for adjustments needed to meet departmental work requirements.

  6. If during a staff member's vacation, there should occur a serious illness or accident requiring hospitalization or confinement to bed for a period of five (5) days or more, which is verified by a medical certificate, then leave may be substituted for vacation. Similarly, if an employee provides acceptable documentation regarding entitlement to Bereavement Leave, such leave may also be substituted for vacation. The resulting vacation would then be rescheduled at a mutually convenient later date.

  7. When a research, grant or contract employee moves from one position to another at Queen's University, the employee may not take accumulated outstanding vacation into the new position without the permission of the new principal investigator.