Vacation Policy

Category: Human Resources

Approval: Vice-Principals' Operations Committee

Responsibility: Associate Vice-Principal of Human Resources

Date: January 1, 2018


Accrual Period: January 1 through December 31 of each year.

Continuous Service: The period during which an individual is employed by the University without a break in service as defined by the Employment Standards Act or the applicable collective agreement. Employment excluded from the scope of this policy is not considered continuous service (except for continuous employment as a postdoctoral fellow).

Entitlement: The number of vacation days which an employee is eligible to use within an Accrual Period. This is typically based upon years of Continuous Service in accordance with Appendix A.

Carry-Over: The portion of an employee’s Entitlement which is approved for use in the subsequent Accrual Period.

Student Contract: A contract processed through the HR PeopleSoft system that is used for a student at the University who is employed as a Research Assistant (RA), Teaching Assistant (TA), Teaching Fellow or for nonacademic work.

Purpose/Reason for Policy:

This Policy and its related procedures set standards for the fair and consistent accrual and usage of paid vacation time.

Scope of this Policy:

This Policy applies to all University employees, with the exception of students who are employed on a Student Contract, casuals, academic assistants, executives, academic staff (faculty and clinicians) and Postdoctoral Fellows. Vacation Entitlement for University employees not covered by this Policy will be outlined in their contract of employment, applicable collective agreement provisions, or in accordance with employment standards legislation.

Policy Statement:

The University strives to provide a healthy workplace that supports a work/life balance and provides employees with periods of uninterrupted time away from their jobs and work-related duties. Vacation Entitlements are to be used in the calendar year in which the employee earns the vacation, though carry-over of vacation may occur in exceptional circumstances. Approval to carry over may be granted in accordance with departmental guidelines, applicable collective agreements, and the Vacation Policy Procedures.



  • Request and use each year’s Entitlement in its entirety, during the Accrual Period, providing their department head/designate with as much advance notice as possible of requests and changes to requests, and in accordance with departmental guidelines and the applicable collective agreement.

Department Heads/Designates

  • Endeavour to approve vacation at times requested by employees, taking into consideration the applicable collective agreement(s) and the operational requirements of the department.
  • Make every effort to ensure that employees’ Entitlements are used in their entirety during the Accrual Period, including scheduling employees’ vacation as necessary to ensure usage within the Accrual Period.
  • Ensure that vacation taken by employees is entered into the Time & Labour system on a monthly basis by the departmental timekeeper, prior to payroll cut-off dates.
  • Approve any requests for Carry-Over in accordance with departmental guidelines, applicable collective agreement(s) and Vacation Policy Procedures.
  • Collaborate with other department heads/designates and in accordance with the Vacation Policy Procedures and the applicable collective agreement(s) when employees with Entitlements transfer between departments.
  • Must submit their own requests for vacation usage, if required, and any requests for vacation Carry-Over to their supervisor. Department heads/designates cannot approve their own requests for vacation Carry-Over.

Human Resources

  • Provide a mechanism for accurately recording vacation and facilitating employee access to their current Entitlement.
  • Provide department heads/designates with information and advice regarding the application of the Vacation Policy and Procedures.
  • Ensure that offer letters include appropriate language regarding vacation Entitlement 


Contact Officer Director, Client Service and Organizational Development & Learning
Date for Next Review 2022 January 1
Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines

Supported Maternity Leave Policy;

Unsupported Maternity Leave Policy;

Supported Parental Leave Policy;

Unsupported Parental Leave Policy;

Vacation Policy Procedures;

General Leave Without Pay Policy;

Reduced Responsibilities Policy;

Retirement Policy;

Return to Work Policy;

Observed Holidays Policy;

Recruitment and Selection Policy;

Termination Policy

Policies Superseded by This Policy  

Appendix A: Vacation Schedule

Employment Year based on Continuous Service Vacation Entitlement
Year 1 Entitlement based upon employment contract (typically 15 days) – Pro-rated based on start date
Year 3 + 1 day
Year 4 + 1 day
Year 5 + 1 day
Year 6 + 1 day
Year 7 + 1 day
Year 10 + 1 day
Year 12 + 1 day
Year 14 + 1 day
Year 16 + 1 day
Year 18 + 1 day
Year 19 + 1 day
Year 20 + 1 day
Year 22 + 1 day
Year 24 + 1 day
Year 25 + 1 day

Employment year is based on the calendar year January 1st to December 31st. An employee is considered to be in Year 1 during the calendar year they are hired. Increases to entitlements are effective January 1st of the applicable calendar year.

NB: An employee’s vacation entitlement cannot exceed 30 days per calendar year.

This schedule is effective January 1, 2018.