Memorial’s Board of Regents approved a new Leave Administration Policy on March 15.
The policy, which is effective April 1, 2018, replaces the following existing related policies and procedures: Deferred Salary Leave Plan, Leave Without Pay, Recognizing Previous Service for Determining Annual Vacation Entitlement and the Work-Flex Program.
Stephen Dodge, director, Department of Human Resources, says the new policy consolidates the university’s leave administration practices.
“In recent years, internal consultation and dialogue with clients supported the need to review our practices and develop a single leave administration policy,” he said.
“Employees will find the new policy is a comprehensive source of information regarding the various types of leave available at Memorial.”
According to Emily Wooley, manager of strategy, policy and planning, the new policy also ensures consistency of practice.
“Having this policy in place will ensure consistent application of leave practices across Memorial’s campuses and increase operational effectiveness,” she said.
Leave administration changes
The policy includes a number of changes to leave administration practices, including the following:
- Permanent employees or contractual employees in contracts that are a minimum length of 12 months may anticipate annual leave accrual to the end of the current fiscal year or their contract end date, whichever is shorter. This means these employees will no longer have to bank their time prior to usage. The Marine Institute will keep its current practice that allows all employees, including those in contracts for less than 12 months, to anticipate annual leave to the end of the fiscal year or to a contract end date.
- Employees will be able to carry forward one year of annual leave. Current employees will be provided with a five-year implementation period to allow for a gradual reduction of excess leave. Human Resources is modifying leave reports to ensure that administrators can assist employees in determining their excess balance.
- In the event of inclement weather and university closure, employees will not be reimbursed for the closure day if they had that day and the day either prior to or after the day of closure scheduled for leave.
- The amount of bereavement leave available for all employee groups in the event of death of a spouse or child has been increased to five days from three days. Niece and nephew are also included in the language with an allotment of one day of paid leave.
- University employees can still avail of a host of flexible work arrangements. Non-management and professional employees who choose to avail of compressed hours will be able to accumulate a maximum of 14.0 hours in each of the fall and winter semesters. Once the limit of 14.0 hours has been reached in one semester, additional hours cannot be banked and hours must be used in the semester in which they are earned.
- Reservist leave language has been included in the policy.
- Any overtime accumulated in excess of 35 hours will be paid to employees.
- Unused professional development leave will be removed from an employee’s leave bank on April 30 of each year.
Unionized employees should note, in the event that policy language conflicts with collective agreement language, collective agreement language will prevail.
Human Resources will be holding information sessions for employees involved in leave administration to explain the key points contained in the new policy. Inquiries about upcoming sessions can be directed to Ms. Wooley.
A working group composed of representatives from the Department of Human Resources and administrators from across the university worked on the development of the policy.
The working group reviewed existing guidelines, researched leave practices at other Canadian universities and reviewed all applicable legal statutes.
A university-wide consultation of the draft policy took place from April 6-May 12, 2017. Significant feedback was provided from the university community with a wide range of perspectives on this topic. The final policy takes into consideration this feedback as well as public sector and university practices across Canada.
To access the full policy, please visit online.