Guiding Principles for 2021 Vacation Time
As our community continues to consider the evolving nature of the pandemic and planning for the remainder of 2021, both business and personal, we understand it may be helpful to confirm the guiding principles regarding scheduling and use of vacation time. Enabling staff to take care of their own well-being and that of their family continues to be a priority supported by the University, along with the importance of self-care and time to recharge both mentally and physically. We encourage all employees to discuss vacation time plans with their supervisors early, so considerations for interests can be balanced across teams, and with operational requirements.
As a reminder, these guiding principles do not supersede specific language in any employment contract or collective agreement – rather, they are intended to support and enable discussions between employees and their supervisors for the scheduling of vacation time within the parameters of those agreements.
- Employees should take 2021 vacation time within the 2021 calendar year
- Employees and supervisors are encouraged to work together to plan for the use and exhaustion of 2021 vacation time within the 2021 calendar year.
- Employees are encouraged to be flexible and cooperative in scheduling their vacation time, recognizing that supervisors will be working to balance time off for overall teams while also ensuring the work of the University can continue effectively.
- Generally, the circumstances arising from COVID-19 (including travel restrictions) are not considered a reason for exceptional amounts of vacation carryover into 2022
- Vacation time is meant to be restorative and is important for our well-being.
- Although the way in which we spend our time while on vacation in 2021 may be different than in other years, there are many ways to find rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation within the current climate.
- Vacation must be scheduled in a way that will not inhibit operational requirements
- Supervisors must be able to ensure effective continued operation of University business.
- Where operational requirements have prevented the ability to exhaust 2021 vacation time prior to the end of December, any carryover must be approved in accordance with collective agreements or vacation guidelines and should be used in the early part of 2022.
- Supervisors must be fair and reasonable in the scheduling of vacation time
- Supervisors are encouraged to communicate openly with their teams and to work with their employees to set out a plan for the use of 2021 vacation time.
- To the extent possible, supervisors are encouraged to consider employee preferences in the scheduling of vacation time.
- Supervisors are asked to consult with Human Resources if it is determined necessary to make changes to normal vacation scheduling processes
- If vacation plans for your Department / Faculty / Unit will be substantially different as compared to pre-pandemic years, please reach out to your Employee / Labour Relations contact to review any communication considerations and collective agreement requirements.
- Vacation balances should be kept accurate and current
- It is vital to update vacation records regularly to keep employees’ vacation balances accurate and current. All approved vacation time must be reported by the employee and tracked by the Supervisor or the Department / Faculty.
- A current understanding of vacation balances will support employees and supervisors in ongoing discussions on available vacation time and opportunities for use.
We thank everyone in advance for their continued cooperation and teamwork and wish everyone much deserved time for rest and relaxation over the coming months!
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