HR Operations

Vacation time off

All monthly paid staff earn vacation time off (formerly called annual leave). You will accrue vacation hours once a month on the last day of the month and can use them on the first of the following month.

Accrual rates

Your vacation time off 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 97-108 15.33 23 184
10th 109-120 16.00 24 192
11th 121 & above 16.67 25 200
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 97-108 16.00 24 192
10th 109-120 16.67 25 200
11th 121 & above 17.33 26 208
Overtime-exempt (grades 11-14)

All professional staff positions at salary grades 11-14 accrue vacation time offf at the maximum rate of 17.33 hours per month (26 days per year) regardless of years of service.

Part-time employees

Part-time employees working at least 0.5 FTE earn vacation time off 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 vacation time off that a full-time employee earns with the same employment program and years of service.

New employees

The month you start accruing vacation hours depends on the day you start 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 vacation time off hours for February. You will first accrue hours for March.

Cyclical positions

If you hold a cyclic-year or instructional-year position, you earn time off 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 vacation time off. You will not earn time off in September, but you will receive your monthly accrual for June, as long as you are in pay status through 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 educational service district, you may be eligible to transfer your balances from your previous employer or receive an adjustment to your vacation accrual rate. Visit Prior Washington State Service Credit for more information.

Time off without pay

You do not accrue vacation or sick time off hours during a calendar month in which you have taken more than 10 equivalent days of your FTE as unpaid time off. 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.

In addition, your vacation accrual month is delayed for every month in which you have taken more than 10 days of time off 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 unpaid time off, then your new accrual month becomes March.

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Accrual month

Your accrual month is the anniversary in which your vacation 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.

Three factors may affect your accrual month:

  • You take unpaid time off for more than 10 days in a month.
  • You have a break in your UW or WA State employment, meaning you end your employment at the UW or other WA State employer, and then return later to a UW job. In such a case, you may receive prior service credit for your years of service in your previous UW or other WA State job.
  • You transfer to UW employment, without a break in service, from another Washington public institution of higher education or state agency.

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Maximum vacation time off accrual

(classified employees only)

Classified employees may accrue up to a maximum of 240 hours of vacation time off.

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 vacation request due to departmental business needs prior to your exceeding 240 hours. At that time, your supervisor must file an extension request with Human Resources, explaining the circumstances for denial and including a plan for using the excess hours. Human Resources will review the request and make a determination.

It is your responsibility to monitor your vacation balance. You and your supervisor should plan your vacation use so that your balance does not go over the maximum. If you do exceed the maximum, though, work with your supervisor to schedule time off in order to bring your balance to 240 hours or less.

You will lose any vacation 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 vacation time off

You can use vacation time off as soon as you accrue the hours and they have been posted to your timekeeping system. Professional staff must use holiday credit and discretionary time off (in that order) prior to using vacation.

New employees, though, may have a waiting period.

If you are: You can take vacation time off:
Classified non-union As soon as it posted to your timekeeping system
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 use vacation time during their probationary period if they transferred with a balance from another Washington state agency. Check your collective bargaining agreement for information about vacation use during your probationary period.

Determining your vacation time off balance

The Integrated Service Center (ISC) provides instructions on how to view and request time off. Contact the ISC if you have questions.

Requesting vacation time off

Vacation time off should be requested and approved in advance.

  • For campus staff: Follow your department’s usual request procedure and enter the vacation time off request in Workday.
  • For medical centers staff: Follow your department’s usual request procedurand enter the vacation time off request in Kronos.

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

Your supervisor will attempt to accommodate your vacation request, but there may be times when you will be asked to reschedule your time off. In such cases, your supervisor will work with you to find an alternate time for using your vacation time that works for both you and the department.

Cashing out

The University pays out unused vacation time only when you separate from University employment or move within the University to a position that does not accrue time off.

Donating to shared leave programs

You may donate vacation time off 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 time off balance is handled according to the chart below:

If you move to a position that is: Your vacation time off:
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 vacation time off hours
  • Contract classified: all unused vacation time off 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

When moving from a faculty to a professional staff position, a vacation and sick time balances will be calculated for you based on your length of service as a faculty member and the type of appointment.

Faculty appointment Length of service as faculty Amount of vacation and sick time off granted to professional staff position
12-month appointment 8 or more years 192 hours of vacation and 480 hours of sick time, less any vacation or sick time taken in the previous 12 months
12-month appointment Less than 8 years A prorated amount as determined by Human Resources, less any vacation and sick time taken in the previous 12 months
Less than 12-month appointment Any amount No vacation or sick time is granted

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Mid-month 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 system will look at the accrual rate at the beginning of the month and the last day of the month and use the higher of the two.

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Leaving UW employment

When you leave UW employment, you will be paid for your unused vacation 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 vacation time off 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.

Time off accrual in your final month

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

Transfers to another state agency

Your vacation 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 separation from the University, you do not receive a lump-sum payout. You should work with UWHR and your new employer to ensure you understand how the transfer of balances 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 vacation time off approval process
  • Monitoring employee vacation time off balances to prevent excess accrual
Denials

If you cannot approve a vacation request due to departmental staffing needs, work with the employee to schedule the time off 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 immediately.

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 time off denial will cause the employee’s vacation balance to go over 240 hours. An approved extension allows the employee to carry excess vacation hours beyond their anniversary date. Without an approved extension, the excess hours will be deleted permanently from the employee’s balance on their anniversary.

The extension request should:

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

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Additional resources

APS 43.15 Leave Policy for Classified Non-Union Staff

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