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Vacation Planning

At Ryerson, we're committed to creating a culture where part of doing business is taking time away to recharge. Vacations reduce stress, increase creativity, and promote overall wellbeing.

Initiative to bring vacation credit balances within limits

Currently, there are employees at Ryerson who have vacation credit balances that exceed the limits established in our policies and collective agreements. This indicates that employees may not be taking enough time off to refresh themselves.

Launched in 2012, this initiative is designed to bring vacation credit balances within allowable policy and collective agreement limits. On January 31, 2017, any excess vacation days will be removed and on February 1, 2017, HR will implement a system cap. After this time, further vacation accrual will cease if the vacation balance is at the maximum.

This initiative has included four phases to provide employees with multiple opportunities to reduce their vacation balance.

Which employee groups are affected?

The initiative applies to employees in the following groups, with vacation credit balances in excess of policy or collective agreement provisions:

  • Executives (e.g. President, Provost and Vice Presidents)
  • Senior Academic and Administrative Leaders (e.g. Deans, Sr. Directors, AVPs, etc.)
  • Management and Confidential (MAC)
  • Academic and Administrative Support Staff (OPSEU)
  • Maintenance and Trades Staff (CUPE 233)
  • Librarians and Counsellors (RFA)

Faculty members are deemed to have taken their five or six weeks' vacation each year, therefore this initiative does not apply to that group.

What are the allowable limits?

According to the Ryerson vacation policy and collective agreements, employees are eligible to accrue a maximum of two times their annual vacation entitlement. For example, if an employee is entitled to 15 vacation days per year, they are allowed to accrue a maximum of 30 vacation days in their vacation bank.

Currently, eHR allows employees to accrue more than two years worth. This means that many employees have exceeded the maximum accrual amount. This is problematic for two reasons:

  1. With a number of staff around the university accruing excess vacation time, payout becomes a financial liability that affects budget planning and must be reflected on financial statements.
  2. Part of being a people first employer means creating a culture where taking time away from work for refreshment and rejuvenation is part of the norm.
What is the “hard system cap” and how will it work?

On February 1, 2017, we will be implementing a system cap through HR. This means that employees will no longer be able to accrue additional vacation time above the limits established by policy and collective agreements. If you have more than two years’ worth of vacation accrued, you will not be able to accrue additional vacation until you use some vacation days so that your total accrued vacation is under the maximum. Should you use one vacation day, you will only be able to accrue one day before the system caps out again. Employees should therefore ensure they take vacation regularly to keep their vacation banks below the maximum limit.

Your vacation accrues on a monthly basis, and so managing vacation should be considered an ongoing priority.

What has been done so far?

Phase One: Planning for the September 30, 2014 deadline

May 14, 2012 – HR reports were made available with employee vacation balance information.

May 14 – July 31, 2012 – Faculty/department/school met to to reduce excess vacation credit balances. Employees were offered a one-time option to have their excess vacation credits:

  • donated to Ryerson charities or United Way
  • contributed to Ryerson’s Group RRSP
  • added to their regular pay

August 1, 2012 – Plans were signed off by managers and employees and submitted to the appropriate vice president for review.

September 4, 2012 – Vice presidents submitted plans to Human Resources.

January 1, 2014 – CTO balances began to be processed to be paid out.

September 30, 2014 – All vacation payouts were completed. Any vacation in excess of the maximum accrual limit was eliminated.

Phase Two: October 1, 2014 - September 30, 2015

October 1, 2014 – Start of annual review of excess vacation credit balances. Excess vacation credits to be eliminated without further notice or pay in lieu of notice.

September 30, 2015 – Any excess vacation accrued and not taken as of September 30, 2015 was eliminated.

Phase three: October 1, 2015 to January 31, 2017

January 31, 2017 – Any excess vacation accrued and not taken as of January 31, 2017 will be eliminated.

Phase four: February 1, 2017 and forward

February 1, 2017 – eHR will implement a hard systems cap and employees will no longer be able to accrue vacation in excess of accrual limit.

This guide provides strategies to help employees plan annual vacation time, including advice on addressing high vacation accrual rates and how to record vacation requests and approvals.

This guide provides strategies for leaders to plan vacation time with their staff on a regular basis, including how to bring excess vacation balances within the limits established in our policies and collective agreements.

Vacation Policy  

Vacations are pre-planned time away from work meant to provide an opportunity for refreshment and rejuvenation. Ryerson University is committed to supporting time off for employees in accordance with legal, policy and collective agreement provisions.