Policy Number: CS-1314-2014
Policy Title: Vacation Policy
Policy Owner: Chief Human Resources Officer
Effective Date: April 23, 2014
Last Revised: August 23, 2023
On this page:
- Application and Scope
- Accountability and Compliance
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Revision Date
- Specific Links
Mohawk College recognizes that a healthy work-life balance is a key contributor to employee wellness. Mohawk College strongly encourages employees to take their annual vacation entitlements as part of achieving this balance. Vacation entitlement and planning are managed in accordance with the provisions outlined within this Vacation Policy and in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of Employment, the applicable Collective Agreement and legal provisions that guide the employment relationship.
The policy applies to all full-time employees of Mohawk College.
“Academic (Non-Teaching) Employees” means Counsellors, Librarians and Full Time Academic Employees working in non-teaching positions, e.g. Academic Staff in The Centre for Teaching and Learning.
“Accrued Vacation Days” means the number of days earned during the vacation plan year based on Administrative Terms and Conditions, Support Staff and Academic Collective Agreements.
“Deferred Earnings” is a practice applied to academic employees where the College withholds 2/12 of an Academics employee’s annual salary to be paid out over the 43-day vacation period ensuring both a two-month vacation and salary continuity. Employees who worked less than a year received a pro rata amount.
“Employees” for the purpose of this policy, employees refer to full-time Administrative, Support Staff and Academic employees with a vacation entitlement. Non-Full Time Employees are paid vacation pay on all earnings and earning unpaid vacation time. As a result, they are excluded from this policy.
“Holiday Period” refers to the days between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, inclusive, or as otherwise determined by the Mohawk Executive Group.
“Fiscal year-end” is March 31st of each year.
“Last Working Day” is the last weekday before the Holiday Period.
“Leave reporting system” is a module within Banner to record, submit and track leave information.
“Plan year” The period during which vacation credits are earned and utilized. Vacation days must be earned prior to usage for all Support Staff per the Support Staff Collective Agreement. Administrative and Academic employees accrue and take vacation days within the same plan year. The plan year for each group is as follows:
- Administrative and Academic groups: September 1 to August 31.
- Support group: July 1 to June 30.
“Standard Working Day” refers to a weekday where the College is open from 8:30am – 4:30pm.
“Vacation carry-over” means the number of days not used within that plan year and carried forward to the next vacation year.
The College recognizes its responsibility to create and maintain a supportive environment that enables employees to achieve work-life balance and maintain physical and mental health and well-being. One of the ways to achieve this is by ensuring employees use their annual vacation allotment within the timeframe for which it is intended. The College also recognizes the need to maintain a specific and consistent process for managing vacation carry-over and the related financial liability accruals represent.
5.1 Accountability Framework
This policy has been approved by the Senior Leadership Team.
The Chief Human Resources Officer is authorized to ensure that the information within this policy is applied and that all actions comply with relevant legislation, terms and conditions, policies and Collective Agreements.
To ensure compliance with this policy and create a supportive environment that encourages a work-life balance, the following responsibilities have been assigned to managers, employees and the Human Resources Department.
- Request vacation in accordance with department protocols, appropriate Collective Agreements and Administrative Terms and Conditions of Employment.
- Commit to taking earned vacation throughout the plan year.
- Record all vacation time in the leave reporting module (Banner) monthly for manager approval.
- Ensure utilization of vacation does not create a negative vacation balance.
- Review balance with manager in the leave reporting module monthly. Report all discrepancies to Human Resources.
- Request vacation carry-over in accordance with the Vacation Carry-Over Procedure.
- Provide opportunities for employees to take earned vacation throughout the plan year.
- Ensure a departmental protocol aligned with the Collective Agreements or Administrative Terms and Conditions of Employment, for requesting, scheduling, tracking and recording vacation time.
- Approve vacation time in the leave reporting module (Banner) and ensure employee awareness of system requirements.
- Monitor vacation balances to ensure employees are taking and reporting earned vacation days throughout the plan year within the leave reporting system. Report all discrepancies for vacation balances to Human Resources.
- Review vacation balances in the leave reporting system prior to approving requests to confirm there are sufficient days available in vacation balances.
- Consider carry-over requests and ensure the proper utilization of carry-over balances in accordance with the Vacation Carry-Over Procedure.
6.3 Human Resources Department
- Update vacation entitlements, time and or carry-over in the leave reporting system when applicable: remove, adjust, maintain or apply vacation time or carry-over to balances at the beginning of plan years and at fiscal year-end.
- Calculate prorated vacation entitlements for new hires, leave of absences etc., and notify Payroll when required. Apply all updates in the leave reporting system and notify employees / managers when adjustments have occurred if required.
- Review and approve in conjunction with management all plans for carry-over at fiscal year-end and coordinate the process for updating balances in the leave reporting system to reflect extension for the vacation carry-over, mandatory scheduled vacation by manager or removal of days.
- Liaise with management and employees if carry-over cannot be taken prior to fiscal year-end to develop a plan for carry-over (i.e. extension for the vacation carry-over, mandatory scheduled vacation by manager or removal of days).
An Administrative, Support Staff or Academic (non-teaching) employee can carry- over up to 15 days of vacation into a new plan year and all approved carry-over must be used prior to fiscal year-end.
7.1 Vacation Accrual Rates
Employees annual vacation accrual amount will be outlined in their offer of employment (Administrative Staff) or Collective Agreement (FT Support Staff and Academic).
For Academic employees, vacation accumulation is based on a September 1 to August 31 reference period. Academic staff are entitled to a vacation of two months (43 days) upon completion of one full academic year of service. Academic employees may request and, with the approval of the College, may have a vacation that is scheduled in periods other than a contiguous two-month block. Vacation credits will be earned on a monthly basis and will be funded through deferred earnings. Payment during vacation will be made from the academic’s deferred earnings. If there are not enough deferred earnings available to cover the 43 days, then the remaining days are considered unpaid vacation.
Academic (Non-Teaching) Employees may request and take their vacation accumulation throughout the academic year in a non-contiguous block.
7.2 Accrual on Commencement/Termination of Employment
Accrual will be prorated for partial months’ service. If an Administrative or Academic (non-teaching) Employee leaves the organization and has taken more vacation than accrued at the time of termination, this will be deducted from their last pay.
7.3 Vacation Carry-Over
An Administrative, FT Support Staff or Academic (non-teaching) employee can carry-over up to 15 days of vacation into a new plan year upon their manager’s approval. All approved carry-overs shall be used before the end of the fiscal year (March 31).
Academic (teaching) employees will utilize their full vacation balance within the plan year. Academic (teaching) employees required to teach during their scheduled vacation period will be administered in keeping with Article 15.01 B of the Academic Employees Collective Agreement. Any exceptions to the Vacation Policy for Academic (teaching) employees will be subject to the approval of the Vice President, Academic.
7.3.1 Vacation Carry-Over Greater than 15 Days Over
When an Administrative, Support Staff or Academic (non-teaching) employee has carry-over greater than 15 days, it must be reviewed and approved by their immediate manager and appropriate Vice President. Please see the Vacation Carry-Over Procedure for requirements. All approved carry-overs shall be used before the end of the fiscal year (March 31).
7.3.2 Fiscal Year-End Vacation Carry-Over
Any carry-over balance remaining beyond fiscal year end will be subject to approval by the Chief Operating Officer. Please see the Vacation Carry-Over Procedure for requirements.
7.4 Vacation Accruals During Leaves of Absences
Depending on the type of leave of absence, vacation accruals during the leave will vary.
Leaves of Absence that accrue paid vacation time include:
- Short Term Disability: Where an employee’s short term disability claim has been approved.
- Statutory Leaves (protected leaves as per the Employment Standards Act, 2000): Administrative and Support Staff employees who are off work on statutory leaves (e.g., maternity, parental, or other legislative leave entitlements) will continue to accrue their vacation during the period of leave.
- Exception: Academic staff will not earn deferred earnings during a period of leave, and as a result they will only accrue unpaid vacation days during their statutory leave.
Leaves of Absence that do not accrue paid vacation time include:
- Long Term Disability (LTD) Leave
- Unpaid Leave of Absence
- Professional Development Leave
7.5 Transfer to Another Department
When an employee transfers to another department it is the responsibility of the transferring employee to inform the receiving department as early as possible of pre-approved vacation that has been scheduled. The receiving manager should strive to support any pre-approved vacation requests whenever possible. It is the responsibility of the receiving department to schedule vacation in accordance with policy and to follow applicable vacation scheduling requirements.
7.6 Employee Vacation on the Last Working Day before the Holiday Period
7.6.1 Last Working Day
At the start of each year the College will post the Holiday Period closing schedule for the coming calendar year. The College will be open for a standard working day on the last day prior to the Holiday Period, unless otherwise noted.
7.6.2 Employee Vacation
Employees who are entitled to vacation can book time off prior to the Holiday Period, including the last working day, with their manager’s approval.
Any employee who has taken a full day of vacation shall be reimbursed one half day of vacation time if the College closes at or before 12 noon on the last working day before the Holiday Period. It is the responsibility of the Manager to ensure that all vacation time and reimbursements of vacation time are recorded correctly in the time and attendance systems.
8.1 Policy Revision Date
The Chief Human Resources Officer will review this policy every 5 years or earlier where required.
This procedure is to provide instructions regarding the management of vacation carry-over balances for Administrative, Support Staff or Academic (non-teaching) employees. Any exceptions to the Vacation Carry-Over Procedures will be subject to the approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer.
1. Vacation Carry-Over Guidelines
An Administrative, Support Staff or Academic (non-teaching) employee can carry-over up to 15 days of vacation into a new plan year and all carry-over balances must be used prior to fiscal year-end (March 31st).
When an employee has carry-over greater than 15 days, it must be reviewed and approved by their immediate manager and appropriate Vice President.
2. Vacation Carry-Over Greater than 15 days
- Human Resources will identify to managers any employee who may result in a carry-over request of greater than 15 days.
- Managers will be responsible for reviewing the request along with any planned vacation time and approving any carry-over greater than 15 days.
- Human Resources will engage the division Vice President for approval.
- The Manager and Employee will work together to plan the utilization of the approved carry-over days. Scheduling will meet the needs of both the employee and the manager’s operational requirements.
- Employees will submit their carry-over days via the Employee Profile - Request Time Off (Banner) as a record of the vacation plan.
All requests for vacation carry-over will be considered on an individual basis and shall not be unreasonably denied. If the request is not approved by management, a mandatory meeting will be scheduled between the employee and manager to discuss the following options: extension for the vacation carry-over, mandatory scheduled vacation by manager or removal of days
Approved carry-over greater than 15 days must be taken by the employee by fiscal year end (March 31).
3. Remaining Vacation Carryover as of Fiscal Year End
If carry-over remains as of March 31, extension of carry-over to the end of the plan year will require approval of the Chief Operating Officer. A mandatory meeting will be scheduled with the employee and manager to develop a plan for the time based on the following options: extension for the vacation carry-over, mandatory scheduled vacation by manager or removal of days.
4. Key Deadlines
All vacation carry-over reports need to be submitted to Human Resources in accordance with the timelines below to maintain or update the vacation carry-over balance within the leave reporting module (Banner). If the reports are not received by Human Resources, the carry-over days will be removed from the employee’s balance until the reports have been received and approved by management.
4.1 Plan Year-End Carry-Over
|Support Staff (Plan Year July 1 - June 30)
|Administrative and Academic Non-Teaching (Plan Year September 1 August 31)
|HR initiates carry-over report
|By May 26
|By June 19
|Manager approval of carry-over
|By June 9
|By July 9
|VP Approval (HR to facilitate)
|By June 16
|By August 16
|Employees to submit scheduled carry-over days via Employee Profile Leave Reports (Full-Time Employees)
|By July 31
|By September 30
4.2 Fiscal Year-End Carry-Over
|Support Staff and Administrative and Academic Non-Teaching
|HR initiates carry-over report
|By February 28
|Manager approval of carry-over
|By March 24
|Chief Operating Officer Approval (HR to facilitate)
|By March 31
|Employees to submit scheduled carry-over days via Employee Profile Leave Reports (Full-Time Employees)
|By April 15
5. Vacation Carry-Over Responsibilities
- Request vacation carry-over for amounts greater than 15 days by completing consulting your manager.
- Discuss a plan to take all vacation carry-over prior to fiscal year-end.
- Submit scheduled carry-over days via their Employee Profile - Request Time Off (Banner)
- Commit to taking approved vacation carry-over, when possible, prior to fiscal year-end.
- Liaise with management if carry-over cannot be taken prior to fiscal year-end and develop a plan for the time (i.e. extension for the vacation carry-over, mandatory scheduled vacation by manager or removal of days).
- Review employee carry-over balances and provide decisions for carry-over in accordance with the Key Deadlines.
- While HR will obtain official approval, managers should consult their Vice President for approval prior to submitting the Carry-Over report.
- Create a plan with the Employee to use the vacation carry-over by fiscal year-end.
- Liaise with employees and Human Resources if carry-over cannot be taken prior to fiscal year-end and develop a plan for vacation carry-over (i.e. extension for the vacation carry-over, mandatory scheduled vacation by manager or removal of days).
- Provide on-going support to employees for using vacation carry-over and hold them accountable for using the time prior to fiscal year-end.
- Review requests for vacation carry-over extensions after fiscal year-end with Human Resources.
5.3 Human Resources
- Request vacation carry-over plans from Managers before each plan year (June for Support Staff and August for Administrative and Faculty (Non-Teaching) of each year).
- Facilitate the appropriate Vice President approval.
- Monitor the usage of carry-over days to ensure employees have the support required to use their vacation days.