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Policy 612 - Vacation Pay

612. Vacation Pay


The University grants paid vacation for the purpose of rest and relaxation.


Accrual Periods

Vacation leave accrues from the first of the month following the date of hire as a regular or academic staff member and continues during periods of work, sick leave, vacation and other periods of paid leave. Vacation does not accrue for hours worked on an overtime basis.

Maximum Vacation Accumulation

The maximum amount of vacation that staff members can accumulate is the amount they would accrue in one and one-half years at their current annual accrual rate. For instance, if a staff member has 10 years of service the maximum number of vacation hours which can be accrued is 264 hours; the staff member will not accrue any additional vacation hours until the available balance falls below 264 hours.


Regular staff members are eligible to accrue and use vacation if they are assigned to work twenty (20) hours a week or more for six (6) months or more.

Accrual of Vacation

Full-Time Regular Staff
Length of Service* Days per year Hours per pay period Max Accrual (hours)
0-3rd year 15 5.00 180
Start of 4th-8th 20 6.67 240
Start of 9th-18th 22 7.33 264
Start of 19th-24th 25 8.33 300
25 years and over 30 10.00 360

*Length of service for vacation accrual purposes means years of service counted from the staff member’s date of hire as a regular staff member. However staff hired on a temporary basis who are subsequently hired into a regular position for twenty (20) hours a week or more, will have an accrual rate based on their initial date of hire as a temporary.

Full Time Regular Academic Staff-

Librarians and other full-time regular academic staff, as defined by the Faculty Handbook, will accrue vacation at the following rates:

Length of Service** Days per year Hours per pay period Max Accrual (hours)
0-8th year 20 6.67 240
Start of 9th-18th 22 7.33 264
Start of 19th-24th 25 8.33 300
25 years and over 30 10.00 360

**Academic staff hired on July 1, 1993 or after will accrue vacation based on years of service as a full time regular academic staff member at SCU. Librarians hired prior to July 1, 1993 who had been accruing vacation based on credit for professional experience prior to coming to Santa Clara University will continue to accrue vacation based on their total years of professional experience.

Administrative Officers of the University

Administrative officers identified by the Vice Presidents and approved by the President will accrue vacation at the following rates:

Length of Service** Days per year Hours per pay period Max Accrual (hours)
0-18th year 22 7.33 264
Start of 19th-24th 25 8.33 300
25 years and over 30 10.00 360
Part Time Regular Staff/Academic Staff

Staff who are paid on a semi-monthly salary basis working less than forty (40) hours per week (less than 1.0 FTE) will receive pro-rated leave accrual based on the number of hours regularly scheduled to work.

Accrual Adjustment

Vacation accrual rates will increase in the pay period following a staff member's anniversary date following completion of the specified length of service period as defined above.

Accruals During Leaves of Absence

  1. Paid Leave: Vacation will accrue while a staff member is on paid leave status.
  2. Unpaid Leave: Vacation will not accrue for hours reported as unpaid leave.
  3. Medical Leave: Vacation will accrue as long as the staff member is on paid status (i.e., receiving sick leave or vacation pay). Vacation accruals will cease once sick leave and vacation have been exhausted. (Use of vacation while on medical leave is optional. Vacation may not be integrated with short term disability.)
Donation of Vacation to Other Staff

Staff who have run out of vacation and sick leave due to the continuing requirement to be absent from work because of illness or family emergency may be authorized additional vacation time from a pool of vacation donated by other staff. Staff may donate vacation time, in eight (8) hour increments, to the pool or for specific individuals. Staff must retain a balance of at least eighty (80) hours of vacation after making a donation to the pool. Staff who wish to donate vacation should contact Human Resources and complete the Donation of Vacation Hours Form.

Staff who wish to request additional vacation hours from the pool for use in cases of long term illness or family emergency should complete Section III of the Vacation Request Form, discuss their request with their supervisor, and submit the approved Vacation Request Form to Human Resources. Human Resources will consult with the supervisor and authorize additional vacation hours from the pool as appropriate.

Scheduling of Vacations

Departments are responsible for providing opportunities for staff to take vacations each year. Staff members should make specific vacation requests in writing to their supervisors at least two weeks prior to the requested time-off. The policy and practice of the University is to grant staff members the opportunity to use accrued vacation with some discretion, so long as the scheduling of vacation does not interfere with the operational needs of the department. In all circumstances, management must approve the time off before it is taken.

If a staff member is not utilizing accrued vacation, it is the prerogative of the department manager to schedule time off for the staff member. It is hoped that a mutually agreeable schedule can be developed, but management does have the discretion to require that vacation time be utilized.

Staff members are discouraged from using more vacation than they have currently accrued. However, in exceptional cases the supervisor may request through the departmental manager with budget authority that Human Resources approve the advance of vacation hours to a staff member. Departments are liable for the cost of vacation which has been advanced to a staff member and not covered by accruals prior to the time the staff member terminates.

Use of Vacation by Part-Year Staff

Part-year staff should schedule their vacation to be used during the pay periods they are scheduled to be at work. Part-year staff may not use vacation during the non-work periods. Part-year staff will not accrue vacation during non-work periods.

Use of Vacation for Non-Vacation Absences

Vacation can be used for other absences (e.g., disability, family, and personal leaves) when requested by the staff member and approved by the supervisor.

Pay in Lieu of Vacation

Vacation may not be converted to cash except upon termination of employment or upon change to an employment status with the University which makes the individual ineligible for vacation accrual or use. When there is a change in employment status the individual will be paid for accrued vacation and a record will be kept of any sick leave balance so that it can be recredited if the individual becomes eligible for leave at a later time.

Payment of Vacation at Termination

Staff who terminate regular employment will receive on their last day of employment a lump-sum payment of their accumulated vacation at their current rate of pay.

Transfer of Vacation

When a staff member transfers from one department to another within the University, the staff member's unused vacation balance transfers to the new department.

Holidays During Vacation

If a paid holiday falls within a staff member's vacation, it will be recorded as a holiday rather than a vacation day.

Illness During Vacation

If a staff member becomes ill while on vacation the period of illness may be charged to accumulated sick leave rather than to vacation, at the staff member's request and with the supervisor's approval. Supervisors may require a physician's verification when such periods of illness exceed three days.

Records and Reporting of Vacation

All staff members will record vacation usage on timesheets provided every pay period. The University will report vacation accruals and usage on the staff member's pay check each pay period.

Exceptions to the Policy

If, under rare circumstances, exceptions to this policy are necessary they may be made by a Vice President in consultation with the chief Human Resources officer.


Employees are responsible for following established department scheduling and call-in procedures. Department heads are responsible for ensuring proper administration of paid leave and leave scheduling. Human Resources is responsible for the interpretation and administration of this policy.


Contact Human Resources if you have questions or if you would like more information about this policy.

Policy Approved: October 23, 1998

Last Updated: February 2, 2016

Last Reviewed: June 30 2022

Maintainer: Human Resources

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