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BYU announces changes to sick and vacation leave for administrative and staff employees

Accrual time for staff vacation leave to increase, new hires to receive five days sick and vacation leave upon hiring, sick leave accruals to be capped at 480 hours

BYU announced this week some significant changes to its sick and vacation leave for administrative and staff employees. New hires will now be given five days of both sick and vacation leave right up front, and employees can accrue up to 200 percent of their annual vacation accrual—double the time that has been allotted.

“We hope this change will be helpful to our new employees,” said John Young, director of BYU’s Benefits Office. “New employees will still earn the standard vacation and sick leave time, it will just be distributed differently in the first 12 months than what it has been. Because new employees will be granted five days of both sick and vacation leave right up front, monthly accrual will be smaller for the first 12 months of employment.”

The five days given to new employees is not retroactive. “In the end, new employees will receive the same number of days as has always been given,” Young added.

In addition to this change, the accrual schedule of vacation leave for staff employees is being accelerated. For instance, staff employees earn 15 days of vacation at 4 years rather than five years. They will earn 18 days starting at 8 years rather than 10 years, and 22 days at 12 years rather than 15. More information about the new accrual schedule is explained in the graph below.

Current Accrual ScheduleNew Accrual Schedule
Years of ServiceDaysYears of ServiceDays

Also, the vacation accrual rate is being extended for staff and administrative employees to 200 percent of their annual accrual. In the past, anything beyond 176 hours of accrued vacation time would have been trimmed at the end of the calendar year. Now, vacation time not used during a current year can be stored—up to 200 percent of an employee’s annual accrual. However, employees will not receive a monthly allotment for any month where their vacation balance is at 200 percent.

For example, a staff employee who is at the accrual rate of 15 days per year, could store up to 30 days.

There have also been some important changes made to BYU’s sick leave policy. In the past, staff and administrative employees could not tap into disability assistance until they had been ill for 45 days. Now, there is only a 7-day waiting period to tap into a short-term disability plan, which covers illnesses from day 8 to day 45. The benefit during this time is two-thirds of an employee’s salary.

“Employees can still choose to use sick or vacation leave instead of short-term disability,” adds Young. “They may also choose to use only some of their accrued sick and vacation leave and then tap into the short-term disability plan, saving their accrued leave for another time. They cannot use accrued sick and vacation time to supplement short-term disability pay, however.”

He also noted that with this change, the sick leave assistance program will be discontinued. This program allowed employees to donate vacation leave to an employee within their department who needed sick leave hours. Additionally, FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) leave will run concurrently with short-term disability.

In another modification to BYU’s current plan, sick leave for both staff and administrative employees will be capped at 480 hours or 60 days. Employees who have over this amount will not lose any hours. However, they will not receive a monthly allotment until their total hours drop below 480.

These changes will go into effect sometime during fall semester. BYU Human Resources will continue to keep employees informed through Y News. Questions about these changes can be directed to Benefits Services 2-4716.

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