Reduced Period of Responsibility Policy

Approved October 23, 1979

[Queen's Gazette, Vol. XI, No. 42]

Table of Contents

  1. Policy Objective
  2. General Principles
  3. Policy Elaboration
  4. Vacation
  5. Sick Leave
  6. Salary Increases
  7. Special Reduced Period of Responsibility

A. Policy Objective

The basic objectives of the Reduced Period of Responsibility policy are two-fold. The policy is designed to provide individuals with the opportunity to pursue interests which may not be related directly to their responsibilities to the University and to provide the University with some degree of flexibility in utilizing its financial and human resources.


B. General Principles

  1. Any full-time member of the academic or support staff who currently occupies a regular full-time position and who has a minimum of two years' continuous full-time service at the University may request and may be granted appointment with a reduced period of responsibility. Such an arrangement must be mutually agreed upon and shall not be unilaterally imposed upon any staff member. The Department Head and Dean or Administrative Head concerned shall consider each such request carefully in the light of the operational needs of the Department.

  2. A reduced period of responsibility may be taken in the form of a shorter work week, or a shorter work day. Such reduced periods of responsibility will normally encompass not less than seven months of working time in the year or three days or 21 hours per week (approximately 60% working time). There may be exceptions to the above general rule, which will be dealt with on an individual basis. The staff member normally should be accorded part-time status if the working period is less than the above normal minimum and if the arrangement runs for an indefinite period of time.

  3. A reduced period of responsibility will not change a staff member's normal security or rights as a regular employee of the University. As a general rule, faculty members on reduced responsibility will be considered eligible to apply for sabbatical leave after they have served the equivalent of six years full-time.

  4. The option of maintaining full fringe benefit protection at the level of the nominal annual salary or at the level of the actual salary received, will be provided where possible under the terms of the particular benefit plan, with the normal cost sharing arrangement continuing.

  5. A request to return to a full period of responsibility or to change the period of a reduced period of responsibility, whether at the initiation of the staff member or the Administrative Head, Department Head, or Dean concerned, should be made 6 months in advance (unless notice is waived by mutual consent). If there is not mutual agreement on the change in period of responsibility, whether to full-time or some other period, the Department Head, the Dean and/or the Director of Personnel Services, whoever is appropriate, will endeavour to find within one year suitable alternative employment within the University to accommodate the preference of the staff member concerned. If this cannot be accomplished then at the end of the one year period the individual should have to choose between accepting the change or resigning.

  6. The policy will be reviewed regularly.

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C. Policy Elaboration

The policy applies to all full-time academic or support staff who currently fill a regular, full-time, twelve month position. To be eligible for a Reduced Period of Responsibility with benefits paid by the University, the staff member must have had a minimum of two years continuous full-time service with the University.

  1. All salaries will be established and quoted on an annual basis (normal salary) and paid in proportion to the time actually worked (actual salary). The option will be provided to receive payments of salary during the time actually worked or over the entire year. For example, the actual salary of a person on an 8-month reduced period (September 1 to April 30) could be paid over eight months or over twelve months. In the first-mentioned case, a person with a nominal salary of $12,000 would receive an actual salary of $8,000 at the rate of $1,000 per month for eight months. In the last- mentioned case, the actual salary of $8,000 would be paid at the rate of $666.67 per month for twelve months.

  2. Overtime Staff members who work more than the hours scheduled under their reduced periods of responsibility will be compensated as follows:
    1. for time worked up to a maximum of seven hours per day or five days per week the staff member will receive payment based on his nominal annual salary:
    2. for time worked in excess of seven hours per day or five days per week the staff member will be entitled to overtime pay or time off in lieu thereof in accordance with standard overtime policy.
  3. Fringe Benefit plans can be continued based on the nominal salary or on the actual salary, subject to certain plan restrictions beyond the control of the University. The University will continue to pay its full share of the fringe benefit costs if the staff member makes a similar choice. For example, a person on a reduced period of 8-months who chooses to receive salary payments during the time actually worked may elect to have benefit plans continued for the other 4 months of the year.
    1. Life Insurance: To retain eligibility, premiums must be continued throughout the year. Coverage can be based on the nominal salary or on the actual salary.
    2. Long-Term Disability: To retain eligibility these premiums also must be continued throughout the year. Because of insurance carrier regulations, coverage and premiums under this plan must be based on actual salary. As this is an insurance plan, any benefits payable will not be affected by a shorter work year, i.e., L.T.D. benefits for a person on claim will continue for as long as the illness lasts, regardless of prior leave arrangements. The normal 180 day waiting period will apply regardless of whether the employee is at work or on leave.
    3. Supplementary Medical: These premiums are not salary related and must be paid throughout the year to continue coverage. Thus, any medical expenses incurred will be eligible for reimbursement under the plan's terms, regardless of when they occur.
    4. U.I.C.: These premiums are based on actual salary payments and hence deductions will be made only during the time the staff member receives a salary from the University. If a staff member chooses to receive his pay over twelve months, U.I.C. premiums will be deducted each month in the normal manner.
    5. Pension Plan: The staff member has the option of maintaining contributions at the normal level based on the nominal salary matched by the University, and thus preserving maximum equity in the plan. Alternative coverage can be based on actual salary.
    6. Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP): Membership in the Queen's group must be maintained during the periods of reduced responsibility. For those who choose to be paid over a 12-month period, the cost of OHIP would be deducted from the monthly salary. Those who choose to be paid over the period worked, say 8 months, must make arrangements with Personnel Services to cover their share of OHIP premiums during the period when no salary will be paid.
    7. Semi-Private Coverage: The options and requirements for this plan are similar to those for OHIP.
    8. Unemployment Insurance Claims: The University is required to issue a U.I.C. record of employment certificate indicating when there has been interruption of earnings and to provide the reason for the interruption. Such certificates will be issued, for example, when salary payments cease under an 8-month period of reduced responsibility when the salary is paid over the 8- month period. Any questions regarding unemployment insurance claims should be directed to the local U.I.C. office at 299 Concession Street (545-8566).

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D. Vacations

Vacations will be on a prorated basis in accordance with the table shown below. A staff member taking a reduced period of responsibility will normally take the vacation entitlement during the working period.

Pro-Rated Vacation Schedule of Entitlement in Days

  Months of Full Employment
8 9 10 11 12








Normal Full Vacation

2 wks (10 Days) 7 8 8 9 10
3 wks (15 Days) 10 11 13 14 15
(16 Days) 11 12 13 15 16
(17 Days) 11 13 14 16 17
(18 Days) 12 14 15 17 18
(19 Days) 13 14 16 17 19
4 wks (20 Days) 13 15 17 18 20
1 Month (Avg. 22 Days) 15 17 18 20 22
(25 Days) 17 19 21 23 25


Example: Assuming a reduced working period of eight months, September 1 - April 30, and a vacation entitlement of three weeks, an individual would be entitled to 10 days vacation before April 30 or after September 1.


E. Sick Leave

The sick leave policy of the University provides for payments of full salary for a period of up to six months for an absence resulting from sickness or injury. The full salary referred to in the sick leave plan will be the actual salary, not the nominal salary, of a member on a reduced period of responsibility. The monthly salary payment to be continued under the sick leave plan will be that which was arranged for the reduced period of responsibility. Thus, situations may arise where monthly payments made under the sick leave plan will terminate at the end of one reduced period, commence again at the beginning of the next reduced period, and continue until the six month salary continuance provided for in the plan is exhausted. For example, if a staff member is on a reduced period of 10/12th (September 1 - June 30) and becomes ill in May, his/her salary will be paid until the end of June. If the staff member is still ill September 1, his/her salary will be resumed until 6 months after the staff member first became ill (subject to adjustments for any monies owing the staff member from the University).


F. Salary Increases

Salary increases for those on reduced periods of responsibility will be calculated on the nominal salary in the same manner as all other staff. The actual salary will be increased in proportion to the increase in the nominal salary.

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G. Special Reduced Period of Responsibility

In the case of staff members age 60 or over, a more reduced period of responsibility may be taken in the form of an even shorter work year, work week or work day. Such reduced periods of responsibility will be less than the 60% referred to above, but normally will encompass at least 4 months in the year or 12 hours per week. For these staff members the University will maintain its share of fringe benefits on the nominal salary and will also pay the employee's share of pension costs on the difference between the nominal and actual salary.