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HR Operations

Annual leave

All monthly paid staff earn annual (vacation) leave. You accrue leave hours once a month on the last day of the month and can use them once they are posted to your timekeeping system.

Accrual rates

Your leave accrual rate is based on all of the following:

  • Employment program or collective bargaining agreement
  • Years of service
  • FTE status
  • Prior Washington state service (if applicable)
Service Accrual rate
Years Months Hours/month Days/year Hours/year
1st 0-12 8.00 12 96
2nd 13-24 8.67 13 104
3rd-4th 25-48 9.33 14 112
5th-7th 49-84 10.00 15 120
8th-10th 85-120 10.67 16 128
11th 121-132 11.33 17 136
12th 133-144 12.00 18 144
13th 145-156 12.67 19 152
14th 157-168 13.33 20 160
15th 169-180 14.00 21 168
16th and above 181 and above 14.67 22 176
SEIU 925 | Teamsters 117 | WFSE
Service Accrual rate
Years Months Hours/month Days/year Hours/year
1st 0-12 8.00 12 96
2nd 13-24 8.67 13 104
3rd 25-36 9.33 14 112
4th 37-48 10.00 15 120
5th 49-60 10.67 16 128
6th 61-72 11.33 17 136
7th 73-84 12.00 18 144
8th 85-96 12.67 19 152
9th 97-108 13.33 20 160
10th 109-120 14.00 21 168
11th 121-132 14.67 22 176
12th and above 133 and above 15.33 23 184
SEIU 1199 | WSNA | IBU
Service Accrual rate
Years Months Hours/month Days/year Hours/year
1st 0-12 8.00 12 96
2nd 13-24 8.67 13 104
3rd-4th 25-48 9.33 14 112
5th-9th 49-108 10.00 15 120
10th 109-120 10.67 16 128
11th 121-132 11.33 17 136
12th 133-144 12.00 18 144
13th 145-156 12.67 19 152
14th 157-168 13.33 20 160
15th 169-180 14.00 21 168
16th and above 181 and above 14.67 22 176
Overtime-eligible (all grades)
Service Accrual rate
Years Months Hours/month Days/year Hours/year
1st 0-12 10.00 15 120
2nd 13-24 10.67 16 128
3rd 25-36 11.33 17 136
4th 37-48 12.00 18 144
5th 49-60 12.67 19 152
6th 61-72 13.33 20 160
7th 73-84 14.00 21 168
8th 85-96 14.67 22 176
9th 97and above 15.33 23 184
Overtime-exempt (grade 10 and below)
Service Accrual rate
Years Months Hours/month Days/year Hours/year
1st 0-12 10.00 15 120
2nd 13-24 10.67 16 128
3rd 25-36 11.33 17 136
4th 37-48 12.00 18 144
5th 49-60 12.67 19 152
6th 61-72 13.33 20 160
7th 73-84 14.00 21 168
8th 85-96 14.67 22 176
9th 97and above 16.00 24 192
Overtime-exempt (grades 11-14)

All professional staff in salary grades 11-14 earn 16.00 hours of annual leave per month (24 days per year), regardless of years of service.

Part-time employees

Part-time employees working at least 0.5 FTE earn annual leave on a prorated basis based on their full-time equivalent (FTE).

For example, a 0.5 FTE works 20 hours of a 40-hour full-time workweek. Therefore, a 0.5 FTE employee earns 50 percent of the leave that a full-time employee earns with the same employment program and years of service.

New employees

As a new employee, the month you start accruing annual leave hours depends on the day you started in your first month on the job.

If you started between the: You:
1st and 15th of the month Accrue your monthly hours for that month
16th and end of the month Do not accrue monthly hours for that month, but start accruing the following month

For example, if your first day is February 7, you will accrue a full month’s hours for the month of February.

But if you start work on February 21, you won’t earn any annual leave hours for February. You will first accrue hours for March.

Cyclical positions

If you hold a cyclical- or instructional-year appointment, you earn leave for the overall number of months you work, even if your appointment begins or ends mid-month.

For example, if you work September 16 to June 15, you earn nine months of annual leave. You won’t earn leave in September, but you will receive your monthly leave accrual for June (as long as you are in pay status until the end of your appointment on June 15).

Prior service credit

If you have previously worked for a Washington state agency, public institution of higher education, or public education service district, you may be eligible to transfer your annual leave balance from your previous employer or receive an adjustment to your accrual rate. Visit Prior Washington State Service Credit for more information.

Leave without pay

You do not accrue any leave hours during a calendar month in which you have taken more than 10 equivalent days of your FTE as leave without pay. For 1.0 FTE, that would be 80 hours; for 0.5 FTE, that would be 40 hours. The 10 days includes any holidays that you took without pay.

Additionally, your accrual month gets adjusted for every month in which you have taken more than 10 days of leave without pay. For example, if your accrual month is February and at some point in time, you have one month in which you use more than 10 days of leave without pay, then your new accrual month becomes March.

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Accrual month

Your accrual month is the anniversary in which your leave accrual rate may increase, based on your accrual rate chart.

Your accrual month is determined by your first day of UW employment and the following guideline:

If you started between the: Your accrual month is the:
1st and 15th of the month Month in which you started employment
16th and the last day of the month Month following the month in which you started

For example, if you started on February 7, your accrual month is February.
If you started on February 21, your accrual month is March.

There are three factors that could change your accrual month:

  • You take leave without pay for more than 10 days in a month.
  • You have a break in your UW employment, meaning you end your employment at the UW and then return at a later date to a UW job. In such a case, you may be credited with your years of service in your previous UW job.
  • You receive prior service credit for your previous employment with another Washington public institution of higher education or state agency.

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Maximum leave accrual

(classified employees only)

Classified employees may accrue up to a maximum of 240 hours of annual leave.

There are two acceptable situations for going over the maximum:

  • You voluntarily exceed the 240-hour limit and use any excess hours over 240 before your next anniversary date.
  • Your supervisor denies your leave request due to departmental business needs prior to your exceeding 240 hours. Your supervisor must file an extension request with Human Resources, explaining a plan for using the excess, prior to your exceeding 240 hours due to a leave denial. Human Resources will make a determination about the request.

It is your responsibility to monitor your annual leave balance. You and your supervisor should plan your annual leave use so that your balance doesn’t go over the maximum. But if you do exceed the maximum, work with your supervisor to schedule time off in order to bring your balance to 240 hours or less.

You will lose any annual leave hours over 240 on your anniversary date, unless your supervisor has submitted an extension request to Human Resources and it has been approved prior to your anniversary date.

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Using annual leave

You can use annual leave as soon as you accrue it and it has been posted to your timekeeping system, though new employees may have a waiting period.

If you are: You can take leave:
Classified non-union After 6 continuous months of  employment
Contract classified After completing your probationary period or 6 continuous months of employment, whichever is specified in your contract*
Professional staff As soon as it posted to your timekeeping system

*Some contract classified staff may be able to take annual leave during their probationary period if they transferred with a leave balance from another Washington state agency. Check your collective bargaining agreement for information about annual leave use during your probationary period.

Determining your leave balance

Check Employee Self-Service or speak with your department’s timekeeper to find out the number of annual leave hours you have available for use.

Requesting annual leave

Annual leave should be requested and approved in advance. To schedule time off, follow your department’s usual leave request procedure.

As you make plans for time off, consider your department’s and your position’s needs and obligations. Leave planning should balance your desire for time away from work with the University’s operational needs.

And though your supervisor makes every effort to accommodate your annual leave request, there may be times when your supervisor asks you to reschedule your time off. In such cases, your supervisor will work with you to find an alternate time for your leave that works well for you and the department.

Cashing out

The University pays out unused annual leave only if you separate from University employment or move within the University to a position that does not accrue leave.

Donating to shared leave programs

You may donate annual leave hours to another employee in need of leave for medical or military reasons. For more information about donating leave, visit:

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Job changes

Moving from a staff position to another position

If you move from a staff position to another position, your leave is handled according to the chart below:

If you move to a position that is: Your leave:
Classified non-union
Contract classified
Professional staff
Transfers with you to your new position
Faculty
Student
Hourly
Is paid out based on your current employment program:

  • Classified non-union: all unused annual leave hours
  • Contract classified: all unused annual leave hours
  • Professional staff: up to a maximum of 240 hours

The above chart only applies if you have completed either six months of continuous employment or your probationary period (whichever is specified by your employment program or collective bargaining agreement).

Moving from faculty to professional staff

The amount of annual leave that transfers with you when moving from faculty to professional staff depends on your faculty appointment and your length of service as a faculty member.

Faculty appointment Length of service as faculty Amount of annual leave granted to professional staff position
12-month appointment 8 or more years 192 hours, less any annual leave taken in the previous 12 months
12-month appointment Less than 8 years A prorated amount as determined by Human Resources, less any annual leave taken in the previous 12 months
Less than 12-month appointment Any amount No annual leave is granted

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Midmonth changes

Change in FTE

If your FTE status changes during a calendar month, the number of leave hours you earn for that month will be prorated, based on the amount of time worked at each FTE during that month.

Change in employment program

If you move during a calendar month from one employment program to another with a different rate of accrual, the number of leave hours you earn for that month will be prorated, based on the amount of time you worked in each position during that month.

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Leaving UW employment

When you leave UW employment, you will be paid for your unused annual leave hours, as long as you have completed either six months of continuous employment or your probationary period (whichever is specified by your employment program or collective bargaining agreement).

Number of hours paid
If you are: You will be paid for:
Classified non-union All unused annual leave hours
Contract classified Refer to your collective bargaining agreement
Professional staff Up to a maximum of 240 hours

Payment is based on your regular salary at the time of separation and is paid as one lump-sum payment.

Leave accrual in your final month

If your UW employment ends on or after the 16th of the month, you will earn your full leave hours for that month. However, if you separate prior to the 16th of the month, you do not accrue any annual leave for that month.

Transfers to another state agency

Your annual leave balance may transfer with you if you move from University employment to a staff position at another state agency or institution of higher education without a break in service. With this type of employment separation from the University, you do not receive a lump-sum payout. You should work with the UW and your new employer to ensure you understand how the transfer will work.

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Supervisor responsibilities

As a supervisor, you are responsible for:

  • Assisting employees in scheduling time off in accordance with departmental leave approval process
  • Monitoring employee leave balances to prevent excess accrual
Denials

If you can’t approve a leave request due to departmental staffing needs, work with the employee to schedule the leave for the earliest date convenient to the employee and consistent with operational needs.

Additionally, if your denial will cause a classified employee to exceed the 240-hour maximum accrual, you should submit a request for extension to Human Resources.

Extensions for exceeding 240 hours

Extensions are necessary for classified employees but not for professional staff.

You should request an extension approval from Human Resources if your leave denial will cause the employee’s annual leave balance to go over 240 hours. The extension allows the employee to carry excess annual leave beyond their anniversary date. Without an approved extension, the excess hours must be deleted permanently from the employee’s leave balance on their anniversary.

The extension request should:

  • Be in writing
  • Identify the departmental staffing needs that prevent approval of the employee’s leave request
  • Outline a plan for the employee to use the excess annual leave in the near future
  • Be submitted to HR Operations at the time you deny the leave request and before the employee’s balance exceeds 240 hours
Separations from employment

When a member of your staff separates from University employment, you must submit an Employee Separation Payment Authorization form to the Payroll office so that the employee can receive a payout for unused accrued annual leave.

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Additional resources

APS 43.15 Leave Policy for Classified Non-Union Staff

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