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Vacation carryover deadline extended to Oct. 9

March 11, 2021 By Marilyn Gardner

Faculty, Academic Staff, and Limited Appointees with 12-month appointments will now have until Oct. 9, 2021, to use their carried-over vacation hours. Personal holiday hours must still be used by the June 30, 2021, deadline. This extension of the vacation carryover deadline does not apply to University Staff, who must use their vacation carryover and personal holiday hours by Dec. 31, 2021.

Many employees have been deferring time off during the pandemic because they could not travel, spend time with family and friends, or get away from managing pandemic-related issues. In May 2020, in response to the pandemic, UW–Madison announced extended deadlines to use personal holiday hours or vacation carryover across multiple fiscal and calendar years. This extension was a one-time exception to the deadlines set by other campus policies. As a result, many employees have large balances of vacation carryover to use.

The extension from June 30 to October 9, which is spelled out in the COVID-19 Pandemic Leave Policy, is being implemented in response to concerns from units, supervisors, and employees about the challenges presented by the June 30 deadline to use vacation carryover. The campus wants to ensure employees have sufficient time to use their vacation hours and will not end up losing this earned time. Many employees also continue to be engaged in pandemic-related work or other time-sensitive activities that could be negatively impacted by lengthy employee absences during the next three months. In addition, units could have difficulties achieving their work objectives with so many employees trying to use their earned leave by June 30.

UW–Madison leadership also stressed that there will be no further extensions of the deadlines to use earned leave. Going forward, the existing UW–Madison policies for paid vacation and personal and legal holidays will apply. Based on these policies, Faculty, Academic Staff, and Limited Appointees must use all carried-over vacation and personal holiday hours by June 30, the end of the fiscal year. For University Staff, all carried-over vacation and all personal holiday hours must be used by December 31, the end of the calendar year. Any vacation carryover or personal holiday hours remaining after these respective deadlines will be lost.

October 9 was chosen as the new deadline because it is the end of a biweekly pay period. As previously announced, all employees who are currently paid monthly will be moving to a biweekly pay schedule beginning in July 2021. More information about this change can be found on the web page for Single Payroll.

Leave balances can be found under “Time and Absence” in MyUW. Employees who wish to verify their leave balances and the corresponding deadlines should contact the human resources department in their school, college, or division.

Graduate students/postdocs are not covered under the UW–Madison Vacation Policy and the deadlines to use vacation carryover or personal holiday hours do not apply. Employees in 9-month (academic year or C-basis) appointments do not qualify to earn vacation or personal holiday. Only those employees who are Faculty, Academic Staff, Limited Appointees, or University Staff with 12-month (annual basis) appointments are eligible to earn vacation or personal holiday.