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HR preps for new vacation policy

Queen’s Human Resources reminds staff that they must use up their outstanding vacation balance by Dec. 31, 2016, in preparation for a new policy and procedures that come into effect January 2017.

The university is aiming to have vacation balances eliminated or nearly eliminated by Dec. 31, 2016, which requires all timekeeping for 2016 to be completed prior to December payroll cut-off. Human Resources reminds managers and timekeepers that payroll cut-off in December is earlier than it is in other months; all 2016 timekeeping must be completed by no later than 4:30 pm on Dec. 2.

If operational requirements don’t allow for staff to use their vacation by the end of 2016, carryover may be approved, provided there is a transition plan in place that outlines how and when outstanding vacation balances will be eliminated.

“Over the past year and a half, Human Resources has worked diligently with managers to prepare for the transition to new vacation policy and procedures that are transparent, fair, and consistent,” says Heather Shields, Director and Counsel, Employee and Labour Relations. “We will continue to reach out and assist managers in those departments that are still carrying high balances and/or have not contacted Human Resources to discuss their departments’ balances.”

The new policy and procedures simplify how staff earn and take vacation. Previously, staff would earn vacation from July 1 to June 30, and take that vacation from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 the following year.  Under the new policy, vacation will be both earned and taken in the same calendar year.  Human Resources has posted a list of commonly asked questions regarding the new policy on its website.

Over the past year and a half, Human Resources has worked diligently with managers to prepare for the transition to new vacation policy and procedures that are transparent, fair, and consistent.
— Heather Shields, Director and Counsel, Employee and Labour Relations

Human Resources is also reminding department heads or designates that they are responsible for ensuring that vacation taken by staff is entered into the Human Resources PeopleSoft (HRPS) system on a monthly basis by the departmental timekeeper, prior to payroll cut-off dates.

“We understand that many departments have their own methods for requesting and reporting time away; however, HRPS is the university’s central time reporting record, and so time must be entered in there even if it is also entered into another program,” Ms. Shields says.

Human Resources will be holding three information sessions for managers to review the new policy and procedures, and to answer any questions managers may have. These sessions will take place:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 23, 10–11:30 am, Mackintosh-Corry Hall, B176 Lecture Theatre
  • Thursday, Dec. 1, 2–3:30 pm, Mackintosh-Corry Hall, B176 Lecture Theatre
  • Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2:30–4 pm, Mackintosh-Corry Hall, B176 Lecture Theatre

Managers or staff can also contact their Human Resources adviser if they have questions or concerns. The policy and its accompanying procedures can be reviewed on the University Secretariat website