Vacation Policy - Exempt Employees

Royal Roads University Policy

First implemented: 
October 21, 2004
June 16, 2020
Approved By: 
Office of Oversight: 
Human Resources

Policy Statement

Vacation time provides employees with a period of earned rest and relaxation, away from the responsibilities of the workplace for an uninterrupted period of time, while continuing to receive normal remuneration and benefits. 

It is Royal Roads University policy that employees are required to take their full vacation entitlement in the year in which it is earned.  The purpose of this policy statement is to provide a consistent approach to managing vacation; it is the joint responsibility of an employee and their supervisor to ensure that vacation leave is scheduled and taken at a mutually agreeable time before the end of each fiscal year.

Vacation Year and Use of Entitlement:

Employees are required to take the annual vacation to which they are entitled in the year in which it is earned. The vacation year shall mean the 12-month period from April 1st to March 31st, to coincide with the fiscal year.  Accrual of vacation credits (calculated and recorded in hours, not days) commences on the first day of employment as a regular or eligible temporary employee.

Employees may utilize vacation credits in advance of earning them, with the understanding that their vacation balance cannot be negative at the end of the fiscal year.  Upon termination of employment, the value of any unearned vacation credits that have been advanced to the employee will be recovered by the university.

Vacation Scheduling

Employees are required to plan their vacation with the approval of their supervisor, and the supervisor must ensure that an employee’s earned annual vacation is scheduled and taken by the end of each fiscal year.  Supervisors shall use discretion in scheduling vacation.  Factors to be considered may include the occurrence of peak workload periods and other circumstances relevant to operational requirements or service, and an employee’s personal situation or request.

The utilization of vacation credits shall be recorded by forwarding completed and approved leave request forms to the Payroll department prior to taking the time off.  As noted above, vacation time will be recorded as the number of total hours off, not days.

Once approved, vacation schedules shall not be changed except in cases of emergency, or by mutual agreement between an employee and their supervisor.

Vacation Entitlements

Within the framework of the terms and conditions of the university’s exempt employee groups, eligible employees earn vacation based on the length of their continuous service with the university.  Increases in an employee’s vacation entitlement take effect on an individual’s vacation eligibility anniversary date.

Employees who are eligible for overtime

Years of continuous service as a regular employeeAnnual accrual rate
0 years to and including 4 years15 days
After 4 years to and including 9 years (i.e. - beginning the 5th year)20 days
After 9 years (i.e. - beginning the 10th year)25 days
Regular Part-Time - pro-rated based on time workedpro-rated as above
Casual and TemporaryPercentage of pay as per
Employment Standards Act
Management (Grades: some MPT C-D and ME A-D and EM A-D)
Employees who are not eligible for overtime
Years of continuous service as a regular employeeAnnual accrual rate
0 years to and including 9 years20 days
After 9 years (i.e. - beginning the 10th year)25 days

Each employee’s vacation accrual is converted to hours based on a seven and a half (7.5) hour workday. 

For employees who are on a flexible work arrangement (i.e. – compressed work week and flex days), the number of total hours of vacation entitlement remains the same, but the number of actual days off would change.

Employees hired before the introduction of the above-noted accrual rates and who already accrue vacation at a higher rate, shall continue to accrue vacation based on their terms and conditions of employment at the time of hiring.

Carry Forward of Unused Vacation: As noted above, it is the policy of the university that employees are required to take their full vacation entitlement in the fiscal year in which it is earned.  If exceptional circumstances prevent an employee from doing so, the employee may carry forward up to 5 (37.5 hours) unused vacation days to the following fiscal year, on condition that the employee must provide a written rationale for the exceptional circumstances and obtain written approval from their supervisor. Any and all vacation days that are carried forward must be used by, or paid out to, the employee no later than the end of the following fiscal year.

Vacation Pay upon Termination of Employment:

An employee terminating employment shall be paid out for any remaining vacation balance earned during the current fiscal year at the employee’s current wage or salary rate on the final pay.

Royal Roads University shall recover from any monies owed to the employee, an amount equal to any unearned vacation credits advanced to the employee.

Vacation Pay Upon Moving from a Bargaining Unit:

An employee who leaves a bargaining unit position for a position as an exempt employee will have any unused vacation earned in the bargaining unit paid out. The salary level to be used for such payout will be the salary level of the employee’s last bargaining unit position. With no break in service, an employee’s existing vacation eligibility anniversary date will be carried forward to the new exempt position.


Supervisors will be accountable for the day-to-day management and application of this policy, and must recognize its potential to result in a fiscal liability for the university.  Accountability will form part of performance management goals associated with human and financial resource accountabilities.

The RRU Vice President & Chief Financial Officer ensures the appropriate rigor and due diligence in terms of maintaining the policy, including subsequent revisions, and the alignment with the university’s financial sustainability objectives.

The Associate Vice President Human Resources (AVP HR) will ensure that that all university employees are aware of and understand the implications of this policy and related procedures.  The AVP HR will monitor compliance with the policy to ensure consistency in practice, and will sponsor revisions when necessary.

The university’s Payroll department will record and track all vacation credits through the university’s HR/payroll system (Avanti).

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