Vacation time off
Table of Contents
This page was updated July 11, 2022.
Until Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-43 expires, all classified employees may preserve vacation time off accrued over 240 hours. Upon expiration, WA State law requiring excess vacation time off forfeiture on a classified employee’s anniversary date will resume nine months after the date the proclamation ends. See the Vacation cap suspension webpage for additional detail.
While professional staff are encouraged to keep vacation time off balances below 240 hours, they are already allowed to carry larger balances when work obligations prevent them from using the vacation time.
Because Workday will automatically forfeit excess vacation time off on a classified employee’s anniversary date, the forfeited balances will be reinstated each pay period.
This temporary change in practice is effective as of March 1, 2020 and is in effect until further notice.
All contract covered, classified, and professional staff in nontemporary positions earn vacation time off, which accrues once a month on the last day of the month and is available for use on the first of the following month.
Your vacation time off accrual rate is based on all of the following:
- Employment program or collective bargaining agreement
- Years of service
- FTE or sum of paid hours in a month
- Prior Washington state service (if applicable)
|16th and above||181 and above||14.67||22||176|
|SEIU 925 | Teamsters 117 | WFSE| SEIU 1199 NWH|
|25th and above||289 and above||16.67||25||200|
|SEIU 1199 | IBU|
|16th and above||181 and above||14.67||22||176|
|25th year or more||289 and above||16.67||25||200|
|Professional staff grades 10 and below|
|11th||121 & above||17.34||26||208|
Professional staff grades 11-14
All professional staff positions at salary grades 11-14 accrue vacation time off at the maximum rate of 17.34 hours per month (26 days per year) regardless of years of service.
Regularly scheduled part-time employees with an FTE earn vacation time off on a prorated basis based on their full-time equivalent (FTE).
For example, a part-time employee with a 0.5 FTE whose expectation of work is 20 weekly scheduled hours in a 40-hour full-time workweek earns 50 percent of the vacation time off that a full-time employee earns with the same employment program and years of service.
For part-time employees who don’t hold an FTE, the amount of vacation time off earned is based on actual hours paid in a month.
For example, an hourly nonpermanent-hourly or intermittent employee in their first year of service who worked 64 hours in a month in which there are 168 pay period hours accrues 3.05 hours of vacation time off for the month.
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 Washington state 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 UWHR’s Prior Washington State Service Credit webpage for more information.
Impact of unpaid time off
Employees with an FTE do not accrue vacation time off during a calendar month in which they have taken more than 10 equivalent days 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 taken without pay.
Employees earn a month of service for each month in which they are active in Workday. Unpaid time off does not impact whether a month of service towards a higher vacation accrual rate is earned.
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 manager denies your vacation request due to departmental business needs prior to your exceeding 240 hours. At that time, your manager 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 manager should plan your vacation use so that your balance does not go over the maximum. If you exceed the maximum, work with your manager 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 manager has submitted an extension request to Human Resources and it has been approved prior to your anniversary date.
Using vacation time off
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. Professional staff must use holiday credit and discretionary time off (in that order) prior to using vacation.
Determining your vacation time off balance
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 procedure and 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 manager 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 manager will work with you to find an alternate time for using your vacation time that works for both you and the department.
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:
- Shared Leave Program
- Organ Donor Shared Leave Program
- Uniformed Services Shared Leave Pool Program
- Veterans’ In-State Service Shared Leave Pool Program
- Foster Parent Shared Leave Pool Program
Moving from a staff position to another position
If you move from a classified, contract covered staff, or professional 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:|
|A classified non-union
contract classified, or professional staff
|Transfers with you to your new position|
|Is paid out based on your current employment program:
The above chart only applies if you have completed six months of continuous employment.
Moving from faculty to professional staff
When moving from a faculty to a professional staff position, vacation 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||11 or more years, OR
if professional staff grade 11 or above
|208 hours of vacation, less any vacation time off taken in the previous 12 months|
|12-month appointment||Less than 11 years||A prorated amount as determined by Human Resources, less any vacation time off taken in the previous 12 months|
|Less than 12-month appointment||Any amount||No vacation time off is granted|
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.
Leaving UW employment
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. When you leave UW employment, you will be paid for your unused vacation hours, as long as you have completed six months of continuous employment.
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.
Transfers to another state agency
Your entire vacation balance may transfer with you if you move from University employment to a covered staff position at another state agency or institution of higher education without a break in service (one business day or more, weekends and holidays not included). With this type of separation from the University, you do not receive a lump-sum payout. In order for your balance to transfer, your UW department must ensure Workday reflects that you are moving to another state agency without a break in service.
As a manager, 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
If you cannot approve a vacation request due to departmental 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
APS 43.15 Leave Policy for Classified Non-Union Staff